EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

August 7, 2008

Pelham mother to run race for son with brain cancer

PELHAM — Fourteen-year-old Robert Duffy Jr.'s battle with brain cancer will be in the thoughts of his mother and sister when they run a seven-mile race on Cape Cod in his honor later this month.

Robert, whose cancer was detected a year and a half ago, has undergone two surgeries, six weeks of radiation treatments and six months of chemotherapy. Earlier this year, he received high doses of chemotherapy to try to finally rid him of brain cancer, said his mother, Christine Duffy. He will undergo more tests to see if it was successful, she said.

Duffy and her daughter Elizabeth, 18, will be among 10,000 runners expected in the CIGNA Falmouth, Mass., Road Race on Aug. 10 on Cape Cod.

The Duffys, who live in Pelham, are part of a team of 60 runners participating to raise at least $1,000 each for the Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where Robert has received his treatments. The money raised by this group of runners will go toward cancer research and care.

"If I can help just one family that is going through what we've been going through, it will be worth it," Christine Duffy said.

Duffy said her son's fight against cancer has been quite an ordeal. She said she hopes the chemotherapy has destroyed all of the cancer cells in his body, but the treatments also have affected her son's hearing and could stunt his growth. Nevertheless, she said Robert maintains his positive attitude.

After missing the end of sixth grade and all of the seventh grade, Robert is expected to return to Pelham Memorial School for his eighth-grade year next month. He received tutoring while he was out of school, his mother said.

Duffy said her son has a wonderful positive attitude — just like many of the other young cancer patients she has met at Dana-Farber.

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