Mom runs, family rallies to help Dana-Farber

HOLLIS – As much as cancer, like most people, has affected her life, Carryl Roy had no idea of the magnitude of her quest until a water stop in last year’s Boston Marathon.

“I stop at the station and the volunteer saw my singlet had “Dana-Farber” on it,” said Roy, a 41-year-old software trainer and mother of two. “She said, ‘Hey, Dana-Farber, you saved my life.'”

Instant game-changer.

On Monday, Roy, who only started running for real back on Thanksgiving Day of 2015, for the third time, attacked the famed 26.2-mile Boston course, carrying the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute colors in the quest to one day stop the disease. She finished with a time of 6:08.32.

An 18-week training regimen, six days per week, had been followed and Saturday morning in one of her final pre-race fundraiser, Roy helped her daughters, Lorelai (6) and Callie (4) raise over $200 for the cause with a driveway lemonade stand. It’s almost showtime.

“I’ve already hit my goal ($13,200) and surpassed it by a lot,” said Roy, who has raised over $24,000 combined in her first two Boston Marathons. “As of (Saturday), I am at just around $15,000.”

A Nashua native, who has lived in Hollis the last three years, Roy never really got hooked on running until most recently. The Keene State college grad played tennis.

“I tried running a couple times but it never stuck,” she said. But the last time was a little different.

“I set a goal to run a marathon by the time I was 40,” Roy added. The Dana-Farber angle cemented her quest.

The training is so intense and is such a commitment. I wanted to run it for more than just a medal. I wanted to do it for something more,” she said.

Talk about an easy choice.

“I’ve been affected by cancer a lot of different ways,” said Roy. “I lost a friend at 25, dad is a survivor. If I could help to be part of the solution, that would be something.”

Roy runs as part of a Dana-Farber team that delivers for the Claudia Adams-Barr program. It helps with innovative cancer research.

“This is our team’s 30th anniversary in the race,” said Roy. “Over the last 29 years, it has raise over $93 million for Adams-Barr. And they have told us that if every one of our 500 members hits their goal, that total would go over $100 million.”

Roy’s race-day goals were less ambitious. A year ago, she finished in about 6:15 under brutal weather


“This year’s weather? Well, nothing could be worse than last year, cold, rain, wind in your face,” said Roy. “I will take any improvement over that.”

Following the race, Roy might even go right back into fund-raising mode.

“The training is tough. I mean, you start right in the middle of December,” said Roy, who is also a part-time disc jockey. “It’s been a family affair. I couldn’t do it without my husband Eric and the girls. And now, I get to be a part of this incredible thing. You run Boston, you’re there. It’s just electric.

“Like I say, when something matters like this, you make the time.”