When Ally Colton participates in her second Falmouth Road Race on Sunday, Aug. 19, the 25-year-old Chestnut Street resident will not only be running to raise funds for cancer patients and their loved ones, but also to again honor a close friend who succumbed to the disease more than six years ago.
Colton is one of more than 60 more runners taking part this year in the seven-mile race through Cope Cod to support the Joe Andruzzi Foundation – a nonprofit that provides much-needed financial assistance to New England cancer patients and their family members. Former New England Patriots three-time Super Bowl champion offensive guard Joe Andruzzi and his wife Jen founded the organization in 2008 following Joe’s own successful fight against cancer. Last year, Team JAF members who ran in the Falmouth footrace raised more than $100,000 for the cause.
Colton was introduced to the Joe Andruzzi Foundation by her friend Samantha Bourque, an active member of the nonprofit who died of caner in 2012. When Colton returned home to Belmont in the summer of 2013 after her sophomore year at Iowa State, she decided to take part in the Falmouth Road Race to benefit the foundation and honor Bourque’s memory, even though Colton had no prior running experience.
Afterwards, Colton returned to Iowa to finish her undergraduate degree and didn’t spend another summer in the Boston area until after she graduated last year. She is now about to enter her second year at Suffolk Law School, which brought her to back to Massachusetts and prompted her to take part in the Falmouth Road Race as a Team JAF member again this year.
“I loved the experience the first time, but haven’t been around to run another one until now,” Colton said.
Bourque and others who have faced cancer so courageously compelled Colton to take on the challenge again.
“People like Samantha fighting cancer with a sense of optimism is what inspires me to run and train,” Colton said. “It’s so small compared to the challenges they face each day.”
Jen Andruzzi, the foundation’s executive director, wrote, “Ally’s efforts are directly benefitting cancer patients and families in need throughout New England. We are grateful for the efforts our runners are making to prepare for this race, and we are excited to come together as a team this August.”
Meanwhile, Colton said running the Falmouth Road Race for the foundation has brought her closer to Bourque’s memory.
“I’ve gotten to know people through the foundation who crossed paths with Samantha… and they always enjoy reminiscing and telling stories about her,” she said.
To help Colton reach her goal, visit her fundraising page at https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/ally-colton-1/Team-JAF-at-the-2018-Falmouth-Road-Race.