Local participants in Jimmy Fund Walk honor lost loved ones

Eastern Bank vice president Maureen Trefry, assistant vice president Karen Gagne, and Tom Gould of Peabody are this year’s Walk for Hospice cochairmen.
Eastern Bank vice president Maureen Trefry, assistant vice president Karen Gagne, and Tom Gould of Peabody are this year’s Walk for Hospice cochairmen.

A MEMORABLE WALK: Several local residents will be among an expected 8,500 participants in the 25th Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk on Sunday.

The aim of the one-day event is to raise more than $7 million for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Jennifer Lemmerman of Melrose is walking to honor her late brother, MIT police officer Sean Collier, 27, who was fatally shot in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. He was recently posthumously sworn in as a Somerville police officer.


Collier was a dedicated supporter of the Jimmy Fund since high school, setting up recurring gifts from his bank account on a monthly basis, a practice he maintained until his death.

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Lemmerman will walk as part of Team Collier, a group of 75 friends and family members. The team plans to wear matching T-shirts and cross the finish line together.

Team Collier has exceeded its fund-raising goal of $26,200 — $1,000 for every mile of the Boston Marathon route — and has raised $43,000 to date.

Susan Curry, 59, of Groveland, is one of 15 walkers celebrating their 25th year participating in the event and one of only three walkers who has completed the full 26.2- mile marathon route in every walk.

“Raising funds for cancer research and walking is the greatest sense of accomplishment,” said Curry.


She walks in memory of her mother, Thelma Perry, who died of breast cancer in 1981, and in honor of her husband, Richard Curry, a cancer survivor who was treated for throat cancer three years ago.

For the third time, she will be joined by her daughter-in-law Sarah Curry, 32, of Groveland, whose father, Peter Alexson, died last year of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The two started a small team and named it For Pete’s Sake in honor of Alexson.

“It’s extra special to have Sarah be by my side, creating a new tradition of walking together,” said Curry.

Her husband, Richard, and two sons, Sean and Ryan, volunteer at the lunch stop and cheer on walkers.

In 24 years, Curry has raised more than $25,000 for Dana-Farber.


Michele Fairburn of Bradford is a first-time participant in the walk.

She is walking with Nancy’s Angels, a team of participants formed in honor of her late sister-in-law, Nancy Fairburn.

Nancy Fairburn was a 20-year survivor of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a passionate supporter of the Jimmy Fund. With her immune system compromised by cancer treatments, she died from an infection in her lungs last summer at age 54.

Michele Fairburn decided to walk this year to honor Nancy’s strength and determination to conquer cancer and to raise money to support lifesaving adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research.

All walkers must raise a minimum of $300 in contributions, except for walkers 12 years old and younger whose fund-raising minimum is $100.

Starting locations: Hopkinton 26.2 miles, rolling start 5:30 to 7:30 a.m.; Babson College 13.1 miles, rolling start 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.; Boston College 5 miles, rolling start 10 a.m. to noon; and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute 3 miles, 1:45 p.m., which will include many patients and their families.

To register for the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk or to support a walker, visit or call 866- 531-9255.

People have up until event day to register to walk and can make financial contributions until Oct. 31.

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Tom Gould of Peabody has returned as a cochairman of the 26th Annual Walk for Hospice of the North Shore & Greater Boston, which is Sept. 22. Also serving as cochairwomen are Maureen Trefry, vice president for Eastern Bank, and Karen Gagne, assistant vice president for Eastern Bank. The 3-mile walk on Sept. 22 begins on the campus of St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers. A short route and tribute laps around the Prep’s track are also options for those who require a level walking surface. All ages are welcome. The event raises funds for hospice to continue its mission of serving those affected by life-limiting illness, death, and loss. . . . Dana Cohen of Gloucester was recognized nationally in EyeCare Professional Magazine for his work at Medford Optical as a pediatric eyewear specialist. Cohen, owner of Medford Optical since 1976, and his staff spend much of their time fitting infants, toddlers, and young visually-impaired children with glasses in a family and fun atmosphere. Cohen also has opened several hospital-based optical shops, and is now partnered with the ophthalmology department at Boston Children’s Hospital at Waltham.

Wendy Killeen can be reached at