Camp Alumna to Run Marathon for Charity

A former Pok-O-MacCready counselor, section head and Outdoor Ed. instructor will be running the 2014 Boston Marathon, in an effort to raise funds and awareness for Massachusetts based Operation Airway Fund.jill1

Jillian DeBusk says “Last year as I stood along Comm Ave at Mile 18, I felt overwhelming emotion as I watched the runners go by. I was incredibly astounded to see how many people were not only challenging themselves to run the marathon, but were also running with the added purpose of running for a charitable cause.

I swore to myself that day that I wanted to not only take my running to the next level, but that I wanted to make sure my running would count towards a grander purpose. Sometimes I feel the universe rises to meet you and serendipitously, I was put in contact with Dr. Chris Hartnick at Mass Eye and Ear. I was amazed to discover the incredible work that his team is able to achieve through Operation Airway. They are able to give children a second chance at life by helping them breathe on their own.”

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Crowdwise Fundraising Statement:


Jillian DeBusk, Resident of Newton, Special Educator, and “Heartbreak Hill Strider!”


I am exceedingly honored to be running the 118th Boston Marathon for The Operation Airway Fund at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.

The Operation Airway Fund was created in 2011 to help take care of children all over the world with a variety of breathing problems. The first goal of this initiative is to carry out surgical procedures to restore and rebuild children’s airways so that they can be free of tracheotomy tubes and can breathe, speak and swallow on their own. Without these surgeries, these children would not be able to “live normal lives.” With these surgeries, these children get a second chance, and can mainstream back into their local communities.

The second goal of these missions extends beyond the individual surgeries, and aims to teach the local doctors and health care professionals to work together to treat such patients independently. Their goal is to pair each Operation Airway Team member with the local practitioner so that they learn the role they will play in the health care team to provide the safest and highest quality care for the children they treat. The team performs surgery on children who have tracheotomies due to vocal chord paralysis, subglottic stenosis, tracheal stenosis, as well as a host of congenital and acquired problems.


This year Dr. Chris Hartnick will be taking his multi-disciplinary team to Ecuador in March to continue this remarkable work.


On Monday, April 21st, 2014, I will lace up my pink Sauconys and race alongside my fellow Team Eye and Ear members to build awareness and raise funds for this great cause.


As a special educator, I work with students who have been given their own “second chance.” They work twice as hard every day to learn and overcome their challenges. The children that receive care through Operation Airway are working hard in order to stay alive.


This will be my FIRST marathon and it will end when I cross that finish line along Boylston. For the children Operation Airway helps, their “marathon” is breathing each day in order to stay alive. The money that we can raise together for The Operation Airway Fund will ensure that all of these children can cross their finish line.

With copious amounts of gratitude ~Jillian 


Pok-O-MacCready Camps
1391 Reber Road, Willsboro, NY 12996

Located in New York’s Adirondack Mountains

[email protected]

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