BOSTON -- Since 1998, the Mass General Hospital marathon team has been raising money for its Pediatric Oncology program, but this year's Boston Marathon will be more meaningful and memorable for its runners than any in the past.
In the wake of last year's bombings, Monday's race promises to be an emotional experience.
The Mass General team has raised $9 million over the years. This year more than 200 people will be running under the Mass General banner to raise money for various departments of the hospital.
One runner from the Pediatric Oncology team is Allyson Mendonza, a Chelmsford native, who is a nurse at Mass General.
At last year's marathon she had left the Red Sox game and was walking toward Boylston Street and the finish line when the bombs went off.
"It was chaos," said Mendonza. "People running, screaming. We had to leave the city."
For the next three nights she worked at the hospital, in the surgical intensive care unit, treating some of the people injured in the bombings.
"We got three bombing victims, all severely injured, in our unit. All of them lost limbs," said Mendonza. "There were just so many high emotions on our floor, it was chaotic."
Immediately afterwards, Mendonza decided she would run in the 2014 Boston Marathon.
"Our floor was so emotional, and I think right then I wanted to something more for my patients and show them that person didn't ruin the honored traditions that our city cherishes.
Turning the negative into a positive, Mendonza, along with the other Mass General runners, hopes to ease the memory of that fateful day a year ago.
"I think it has been therapeutic to train. I think it will help close the loop on something that was so tragic, and hopefully change the feeling into something positive," she said.
Contributions to the Mass General marathon team can be made at crowdrise.com