(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)
Often when saying thank you, patients at the Boston Medical Center will send flowers or thank you notes, but one East Boston family has gone above and beyond, donated $2,000 to the South End-based hospital.
“I just feel like they have given life back to my husband, daughter and myself and I wanted to do something to help them continue to do the work they do,” said Jacki Anthony, a retired nurse.
The 62-year-old East Boston resident has been battling breast cancer for more than 14 years and has received lifesaving care from the BMC. Along with her own battles, both her husband Bob Anthony and daughter Carrie Brangiforte have received treatment from the center as well.
To thank the BMC and to help the center continue its work, the Anthony family organized the East Boston Deep Freeze Hockey Tournament in 2006, as a way to raise money for the center and raise cancer awareness.
“We decided that we would try to bring a little attention to the BMC and help the community better understand all the hard work they do here,” said Bob Anthony, a police officer with the Boston Police Department and coach of the East Boston High School hockey team. “We wanted to teach the kids about breast cancer and put it out in the open.”
The tournament has raised more than $20,000 for the center over the past six years and Bob Anthony said he plans to continue the tradition.
“We want to make sure to continue to give back and make sure the center gets the credit it deserves,” he said.
Along with the Anthony’s appreciation for the center, many who attended the Thursday afternoon event were grateful for the work the family has done to help the center and highlight the exceptional services it provides.
“They are a wonderful and engaged family,” said Dr. Chris Andry, executive director of cancer care services at BMC. “What makes it so special is that they wanted to give back because of the care they received.”
Although the hockey tournament holds a special place in the hearts of the Anthony’s, the family, along with the Brangiforte family, have also organized another event to raise money for cancer research. The Strike Out Cancer Baseball Tournament, which works to raise money for colon cancer research, was established in 2009 by East Boston High School administrator Phil Brangiforte and Jacki’s daughter Carrie Brangiforte, a survivor of colon cancer.
Employees at the BMC expressed gratitude for everything the two families have done for the center and as a thank you, presented Jacki Anthony with a plaque to recognize her support for the BMC.
A tearful Jacki Anthony expressed gratitude for the doctors and nurses who have worked so hard for her and her family.
“Through every bad thing that happens, something wonderful is created and this is wonderful,” said Jacki Anthony.
(Image courtesy Ken Guittar)