Kids at Heart Marathon Team Raises $400,000 for Brain Research at Boston Children’s Hospital

Kids at Heart Marathon Team Raises $400,000 for Brain Research at Boston Children’s Hospital

The Boston Children’s Hospital received a $400,000 donation from the Credit Unions Kids at Heart Team (CU K@H) two days before the 120th Boston Marathon on April 18. Nineteen Kids at Heart team members raised the money — dedicated to the hospital’s pediatric brain research — by running in the marathon.

Pediatric brain research projects span work into treatments, therapies, and cures for brain tumors, cerebral palsy, Moyamoya disease, and Sturge-Weber syndrome. This donation is the third part of a four-year pledge to Boston Children’s Hospital by the group.

The CU K@H Team includes 50 participating credit unions and several of their business partners. Jane Melchionda, the CEO of Eastern Corporate Federal Credit Union of Burlington, Massachusetts, formed the team as a way to leverage the impact of credit union charitable efforts, and provide greater visibility to services offered through credit unions. Since its foundign in 1996, the team has contributed $5 million to Boston Children’s Hospital to fund a series of research projects. None of the money raised has been used for administrative purposes.

“We live in a time of unprecedented discovery within the human brain. More than ever before, technological advances in genetics, stem cells, and imaging have enabled a deeper understanding of the physiological processes of this most complex system. Indeed, the promise is brightest for the very youngest minds whose brains are the most pliable and responsive to treatment for disease. We know that early intervention to fight disease can make an impact not only on the child, but the adult he or she will grow up to be,” Melchionda wrote in a letter explaining the team’s efforts, and encouraging other credit unions, according to a press release.

“With the help of the Credit Unions Kids at Heart Team, scientists and physicians at Boston Children’s continue to push the boundaries of medicine to provide the best possible care for kids and they are transforming the fight against brain cancer, Moyamoya disease, Sturge-Weber Syndrome, and cerebral palsy on a daily basis,” Melchionda wrote. “Through our Team, the credit union community’s compassionate and dedicated philanthropy is making a lasting impact on the world.”

The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the U.S. It is a qualifying-time event with a limited number of spots for runners representing organizations raising funds for charities. The CU K@H Team has run in the marathon for 17 consecutive years, and its runners are paired with Boston Children’s Hospital patient partners, many of whom have debilitating diseases.