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British comedian Ben Ashenden (BBC Radio 4’s The Pin, Comedy Central’s Brotherhood, and Bridget Jones’ Baby) is running the 2017 Boston Marathon for the pediatric hematology-oncology program at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. He is joining forces for one night only with top local folk acts Dietrich Strause, Greg Liszt, Sean Trischka’s Corporate Punk, and Lula Wiles for a benefit concert at The Burren Backroom in Davis Square on Thursday, April 13.
The evening will feature collaborative performances by the musicians and Ashenden, as well as a raffle with prizes from 20 local businesses including Club Passim, the Friendly Toast, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Brattle Theater, and Otto Pizza. Every penny raised will go towards life-saving research and supportive programming for the cancer community at MassGeneral Hospital for Children.
“The Boston folk scene has always been supportive and close-knit,” says Isa Burke of Lula Wiles. “But recently, I’ve noticed that musicians are increasingly motivated to lend their talents to causes they believe in. I’m honored to be part of this event along with some of my favorite musicians and dearest friends. I’ve seen firsthand the incredible work that Massachusetts General Hospital does, so I’m hugely grateful to Ben for putting this event together and giving our music community a way to contribute to that work.”
Since 1998, the Mass General Marathon Team has raised over $12 million to support the hospital’s youngest cancer patients. The team says: “Thanks to the philanthropic dollars raised by this Marathon Team, MGH is advancing cutting-edge research, increasing the number of clinical studies to improve cure rates, and providing the best treatment possible to pediatric cancer patients.”
The Hematology-Oncology team are dedicated not only to providing world class medical care, but also to helping families create memories from their time in treatment that are as full of joy and hope as possible, during what will likely be most challenging time of their lives. Child life specialists offer medical prep and procedural support, helping patients gain a sense of mastery over their treatment experiences, while therapeutic play, music therapy, and art therapy help pediatric cancer patients and their families cope emotionally and developmentally with their illnesses.
Ashenden, whose partner works as a music therapist in the pediatric oncology clinic, says “I feel lucky to have got the place on their team — to run the famous race, and to help children who have been dealt the worst luck.” He adds, “It’s personal for me as I know how hard the department work to give these children their lives back and how painful it is for them when they lose someone who has become their friend. I’m not a therapist, a nurse or doctor. But I have two skinny pale legs that can go the distance, and so I’m in.”
The event will take place beginning at 7pm, Thursday, April 13th. Tickets are available here. Tickets are $20 in advance, $24 at the door.
Businesses supporting the raffle include: The Friendly Toast, The Brattle Theater, Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, Beacon Hill Chocolates, Deep Ellum, Boston Homebrew Supply, Biyoshi Salon, Life Alive, Benefit Cosmetics, Treasured Hands, Club Passim, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Otto Pizza, Beacon Hill Bistro, and DeLuca’s Market.