EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 29, 2013

Sisters-in-law running and walking for two of their favorite charities

Two local women running and walking for favorite charity

By Bill Burt
bburt@eagletribune.com

---- — They look like sisters. They talk like sisters. They giggle like sisters. And they finish each other’s conversations like sisters.

Technically speaking, though, Lauryn Field and Jen Matthews are actually sisters-in-law. Field is married to Matthews’ brother.

But they might as well be sisters, at least when it comes to nurturing and caring.

Tonight, the duo will combine their singular missions — Field is raising money through the Boston Marathon for “Team Go Kids” while Matthews is participating in the two-day Avon Walk for Breast Cancer — and host a fundraiser tonight at the Claddagh Pub in Lawrence.

Rather than put on two events, they combined forces for what should be one exciting event.

Field, who resides in Hampstead, N.H., and is a Central Catholic graduate, is running the marathon on April 15 on behalf of “Team GoKids,” an organization that was developed at UMass Boston in connection with Children’s Hospital. It is special to her not only because of its focus on health and combating childhood obesity, but her sister Megan was part of the program when it started in 2006. Field, her sister Megan and their mom all graduating from UMass Boston.

As for Matthews, she is walking for Amanda Carlton Adams, the wife of one of her best friends growing up in Lawrence, Dave Adams. Amanda was diagnosed with cancer only three months after giving birth. Matthews says the fact that cancer is in her family’s medical history, along with the inspiration of the 32-year-old Amanda’s battle, made her decided to walk the two-day event on May 18 and 19.

Both admit nerves heading into their respective 26.2 mile run and 39.9 mile walk.

“I started thinking about running the marathon last year,” said Field. “But my wonderful husband knocked some sense into me, knowing I was planning my wedding and was straight out with that. I ended up deciding in early December to run when I heard there was an opening on the Go Kids marathon team. I’m a wreck. I probably should have trained more ... But I’m going to do it.”

Matthews says the fact that her event is a “walk,” doesn’t make it any less scary for her.

“I’ve never walked that far, not even close,” said Matthews. “But Amanda, who has some really good days and some bad days, is always very positive. She is very inspiring for me.”

The irony is that Field and Matthews, who will be front and center tonight at the Claddagh Pub, didn’t start out like sisters when they met a decade or so earlier.

“I met Jen when I started dating her brother,” said Field. “She was 20 and I was 21, and it was not love at first sight. We were both young, stubborn, hot-heads, and were too much alike for our own good.”

It took about two or three years for the duo to become sisterly-like.

”Jen honestly is more than just my sister-in-law,” said Field. “I think that we’ve gone through the same kind of growing pains that any real sisters go through. We laugh, we cry, we fight, etc. We have had so many good times & probably just as many bad, but at the end of the day we’re sisters.”

As for their “looking like” sisters, it’s come up numerous times.

”People have asked us for years if we’re sisters,” said Field. “I think if you put me, Jen and my husband Josh together, people would think Jen and I are the ones that are related. She’s my other ‘little’ sister. I love her and would do absolutely anything for her, and she knows that.”

More than 200 people are expected to attend tonight’s fundraiser, which runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and includes food, music, dancing and raffles.

If you go ... What: Charity Fundraiser for GoKids Boston and Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Where: Claddagh Pub When: Tonight, 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. Hosted by: Lauryn Field and Jen Matthews. Donation: $10 Included: Food, raffles, silent auction (baskets), music and dancing. Websites: www.crowdrise.com/teamgokids/fundraiser/laurynfield and http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/TR?pg=team&fr_id=2200&team_id=115091