George O’Malley EHS ’67 Runs for a Cause

EHSA President Michael Thomas, a classmate of George O’Malley, received this inspirational email message on what would have been the date of the 2021 Boston Marathon. George’s son, Matt O’Malley is a Boston City Councilor for the district where English High School is now located. Matt is also an EHSA supporter, even though he attended Latin!

“Like thousands of others, I should be crossing the finish line of the 125th Boston Marathon today. Instead, I will be one of the 20,000 runners in a reduced field when the April classic is held on October 11, put off again by the pandemic.

A marathon can be postponed, but the cancer research and care that relies on the money raised by runners like me cannot. For the ninth year, I am running on the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team. I am about 20% of the way to my goal of raising $26,200 this year and need your help. Please consider making a gift today.

I thought I had run my fifth and final marathon 20 years ago. I was 51 years old, and that was enough. Then two things happened.

In 2013, our city was rocked by the Marathon bombing and like so many Bostonians, I was moved to run “one more time” to show the resilience of our beloved city. I rejoined the DFMC team in 2014. Later that year, our family was devastated by my daughter Jill’s Stage 4 cervical cancer diagnosis.

In 2015, I ran for Jill as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team. A month later, Jill succumbed to the disease. She was 41 years old. I’ve run for our Jill, for those fighting cancer, and those who have lost their battles every year since.

The medical and emotional care that Jill received, as well as the love and support that our family received, drove my desire to pay it back and pay it forward. My acceptance and modified healing occurred in large part due to my continued affiliation with Dana-Farber.

I’m part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team for personal reasons but more importantly, for the cutting-edge research that is funded by the money that we raise. 100% of the $6 million projected for this year will go to this research. Your donation is essential for us to live in a world free of cancer and means more than you know.

This year, I will be days away from turning 72 when I cross the finish line. I look back to 20 years ago when I decided that I had done “enough” marathons and realize that it will never be enough until we find a cure for this devastating disease. I am proud to be a part of the Boston Marathon, of the Dana-Farber team, and of the community fighting cancer every day. Thank you for joining the fight!

If you have already donated, thank you! Please feel free to share my story with others who may have similar stories or a desire to help.”


George O’Malley ’67 is currently Director of Projects at Habitat for Humanity, Greater Boston, Inc.