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Runner Profile: Shana Coy

Tread Strong

Grateful Family Member

Running for her parents, both BIDMC cancer patients

Shana Coy and her father, who is battling lung cancer and being treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.Shana Coy had no intention of running this year’s Boston Marathon. Having successfully completed New York in 2011 and Boston in 2012, she swore she would never do it again. But, her father’s lung cancer diagnosis in January changed everything.

“As soon as I found out about my dad, it was so personal, I just felt like it was something I had to do,” she says.

The family learned that the cancer had already spread to her father Steven’s brain and adrenal glands. He received radiation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center immediately after diagnosis and started chemotherapy in February.

“The oncology team my dad is working with is just terrific. He’s clearly in good hands,” says Coy. “They’re wonderful people and so empathetic and sympathetic to our situation.”

It’s been a particularly devastating start to the year for Coy and her parents. Just as her father was beginning treatment, Shana’s mother, Joanne, found out that her multiple myeloma — a type of incurable blood cancer — had returned.

Joanne received chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant at BIDMC in 2010 and had been in remission since. Shana has run a half and full marathon to raise funds for multiple myeloma on behalf of her mother. Joanne will start a second round of treatment right around the time Shana will run the 2014 Boston Marathon.

“My dad asked if I really wanted to train for Boston again, and I thought, ‘not particularly,’ but I know my parents also don’t want to be going through treatment that will put such wear and tear on their bodies either,” she says. “So, I think about both my parents, especially my dad, when I’m doing my long runs and having a tough time moving forward, and that’s what keeps me going.”

Coy says she’s motivated not only by the strength of her parents, but also by the weight of the Marathon tragedy anniversary.

“It’s going to be such an incredible day,” she says. “Not only will I be running in honor of my parents, but also for the victims and their families, as well as the great city of Boston."

TeamBIDMC|Tread Strong: the 2014 Boston Marathon Team

Funds donated on behalf of Shana Coy will benefit BIDMC’s Annual Fund, supporting a wide range of programs that need it most. The Annual Fund supports promising research projects, such as cancer genetics investigations, annual operating costs to support staffing positions in social work and other areas, career development opportunities, expansion of clinical spaces and academic and teaching programs.

To donate to Shana or any BIDMC runner, visit

How Are You Doing?

Our colleagues in the Social Work Center for Violence Prevention and Recovery have worked with patients, family members and staff who have experienced trauma. They have created some resources that you may find helpful as we think about the Boston Marathon bombing anniversary.
Learn more »



Contact Information

Office of Development
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue (BR)
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 667-7330
(617) 667-7340 (fax)

Support Shana in the
2014 Boston Marathon

Shana is fundraising for BIDMC's Annual Fund, which supports promising research projects (including cancer genetics investigations), expansion of academic and teaching programs, and more.