Why I’m Running: Marie Mayotte is running Boston for her granddaughter

"In June of 2016, our granddaughter, Zoe, was born, sent to BCH, and we experienced the kindness of The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation."

–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.

Name: Marie Mayotte
Age: 60
From: Pelham, New Hampshire
Bib #: 26795

My journey began three years ago when I started  running for my health. In June of 2016, our granddaughter, Zoe, was born, sent to BCH, and we experienced the kindness of The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation. The foundation has a wonderful relationship with the running community, and, in 2017, those two parts of my life came together when I was selected to join Team Big Heart on the Road to Boston. At 60, I’m running my first marathon!

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Just after birth, Zoe was diagnosed with a coarctation of the aortic arch. On June 17, Zoe underwent surgery to repair her aorta. When Zoe was in BCH, her parents, Keith and Karen, were able to find solace and comfort from the support of The Joseph Middlemiss Foundation. One of the tenets of this foundation is to contribute to research for and spread awareness of cardiomyopathy while providing financial, social, and emotional assistance to families impacted by these children’s cardiac conditions.

Joseph Scott Middlemiss was born on May 31, 2007, with a rare cardiac condition: cardiomyopathy. Ironically, it was this enlarged heart that set him on a lifetime of medical struggles — yet that BIG HEART symbolized all the love Joe would express in a short lifetime. His spirit and passion were present at birth and continued to blossom as he grew.

Spreading love was Joseph’s mission. It was a gift that was instinctive to him. Joseph continually shared his love and that love was returned. At the age of 6, Joseph, who had been thriving, passed away very suddenly and earned his angel wings.

Joe’s legacy is now being carried on by The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation. I’m humbled and honored to assist the foundation in doing this work for other families who need help and support.

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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.