CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski ran the Boston Marathon again in honor of his late daughter while raising money for other children who are fighting brain cancer.
At 11:22 a.m. Monday, Kaczynski wrote on Twitter: “And we’re off! I’m dedicating each mile of the Boston Marathon to a different little fighter. Thank you to everyone who has helped us raise $500,000. There is still time to donate at http://TeamBeansMarathon.com.”
Kaczynski finished the race with a time of 4:16:49. His team included anchor John Berman and few other colleagues from CNN, he said.
“It was really great to have a full team of people this year,” Kaczynski said in a phone interview Monday after he finished the race. “It was amazing.”
This was his second Boston Marathon, and he doesn’t want it to be his last.
“If it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be worth doing,” he said. “I really hope to do this every year and make this a huge fundraiser.”
Kaczynski’s daughter Francesca, who he calls “Beans,” was only six months old when she was diagnosed with brain cancer in September 2020, according to his Team Beans fundraising website.
“Francesca was a healthy and hearty girl who loved to nap on her dad on long walks in her carrier,” the website states. “She loved to watch Sesame Street videos and smiling at me. She was an outgoing, bold and curious baby whose huge, deep brown eyes loved to follow whatever I was doing. She loved eating and being held close.”
Within a week of his daughter’s diagnosis, Kaczynski moved to Boston so she could receive treatment at Boston Children’s Hospital.
“Hospital staff would gasp with joy at her incredible, infectious smile,” the website states. “They treated us like family and in the midst of the pandemic, became our family.”
Kaczynski’s daughter Francesca died on Christmas Eve.
Since then, “we have never been the same since and never will be,” the website states. “The kindness of the people in Boston – the struggling restaurant in Fenway Park that gave us a free meal when they learned our daughter had cancer, the nurses who were by our side while Francesca died. We will never, ever forget the good people who were there for us in our darkest moments.”
In 2021, Kaczynski ran the Boston Marathon while raising money for the Infant Brain Tumor Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He also dedicated each of the 26 miles to a child who is battling or has battled cancer, which he did again this year.