Hopkinton’s Gary Trendel has entered the 128th Boston Marathon, running to support One Summit, a nonprofit based in North Andover, which facilitates connection between pediatric cancer patients and US Navy SEALs.
One Summit was founded in 2013 by Adam La Reau, a former Navy SEAL. La Reu’s inspiration stemmed from his experiences as a Navy SEAL, coupled with his mother’s fight against breast cancer. Through volunteering at cancer organizations after his mother passed away, Adam saw a lot of young kids battling cancer that didn’t have the skills to conquer the disease on their own.
La Reu’s experiences in the military led him to believe there was an opportunity for the Navy SEALs to help these kids. One Summit builds resilience and facilitates growth in pediatric cancer patients and their siblings through experiential learning, mentorship, storytelling, and community engagement with US Navy SEALs.
Trendel (also the elected Chair of the Planning Board) was inspired by his college roommate’s child, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and was connected to a SEAL mentor through One Summit. Through him, Trendel has seen firsthand the impact this program can have on a child.
“I saw how much hope it gave him, and the strength and resilience to keep fighting,” said Trendel. “I think it’s also beneficial for the SEALs, because it brings a different element to what they do.”
Though he has been a spectator of the Boston Marathon for 16 years, this is not Trendel’s first marathon. He ran the New York City Marathon in 1999, and most recently completed the Newport half-marathon. Yet Trendel’s preferred mode of transportation is his bicycle, which by the end of the year will have logged more than 5,000 miles.
“I started running again in June of this year,” said Trendel. “One of the great things about living in Hopkinton is that there’s very much a running culture here. There’s always someone running and training when I go out at 5:00 in the morning.”
Trendel’s goal is to raise at least $15,000 for One Summit. “These funds are critical for a smaller organization like One Summit,” he explained. “Although the SEALs generously donate their time, One Summit uses the money to pay for expenses that bring the SEALs to the kids, like flights and lodging.”
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