Why I’m Running: Tumieka Sanchez Gillespie is running Boston for her son, Cash, a patient at Mass. Eye and Ear

Mass. Eye and Ear "is changing lives every day one child at a time, and my son Cash is one of them!"

Tumieka Sanchez Gillespie and Cash. —Courtesy

In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston on April 16, 2018. Editor’s note: Due to the number of submissions already received, we are no longer accepting entries for this year’s race.

Name: Tumieka Sanchez Gillespie
Age: 37
From: Revere
Bib #: 29697

My son is 19 months old and a current patient at Mass. Eye and Ear. His doctor is Christopher Hartnick at Mass. Eye and Ear, who has helped us in ways I can’t explain. Cash’s sleep study at MEEI revealed he stopped breathing over 400 times a night, and we had to make some decisions. He has retrognathia (lower smaller jaw) and OSA, so his upper airways collapse 100 percent while asleep; he wears a CPAP now which has allowed him to grow, talk, walk, and flourish! We are so thankful and I wanted to give back to other parents and children who are facing the same battle as us so I’m running and raising for this wonderful team.

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MEEI is changing lives every day one child at a time, and my son Cash is one of them! We are so thankful for the airway clinic and all the support! Bring it Boston, 26.2 is about to go down! I’m chasing that medal for my son; it’s extremely heartfelt and emotional.

Check out our entire “Why I’m Running” series.

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Editor’s note: Entries may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.