Vin and Pat Dolan – Team Captains of the Boyle Bunch – Cohasset Walk Team
16 years ago Vin and Pat Dolan got the news no parent wants to hear. They learned their oldest daughter, Patti Boyle, just 28 years old, who had just given birth to her second child had MS.
Pat says, “At first Patti was devastated. She worked as a teacher and now had two small children. She didn’t know what to say to her family and friends and they weren’t sure how to approach her either.”
Patti became a patient of Dr. Howard Weiner. It was in his waiting room that Pat and Vin along with Patti’s husband Jim found pamphlets for our Chapter. Pat and Patti together attended several information sessions for newly diagnosed patients at our office in Waltham, and learned about the MS Walk in Cohasset. The mother and daughter team participated in their first Cohasset Walk together back in the mid 1990’s and have been growing strong since. Patti and her husband went on to have two more children, and Patti became more comfortable talking about her MS. Once her family and friends learned more about the disease, they became involved in the Walk as well. And so was born the Cohasset Walk/Volunteer Team, The Boyle Bunch.
Typically the team is about 20 – 25 people strong, some walkers, some volunteers. Pat is Team Captain and volunteers at the t-shirt table in the morning, then walks with the team. Vin and several of the family volunteers help with everything else. Vin is a born leader, seeing what needs to be done and doing it. His favorite job is setting up lunch for the walkers.
Pat and Vin have three additional children and a total of 12 grandchildren ranging in age from 17 – 2. “The grandkids are veterans at the walk” Pat says “They began in strollers and when they’re old enough, they walk themselves. They’re very enthusiastic about being part of the team and Patti walks too when she can.” “Patti’s three boys and her daughter know why they’re there and what their mom is going through, they really help out their mom.”
Patti still teaches in Rockland and raises money with dress down days at her school. Pat, her mom, who underwent a successful kidney transplant seven years ago, still works one day a week at a doctor’s office, and they match Pat’s donations. Vinnie is a retired pipe fitter and his union has also been generous with donations over the years.
Pat said her family is “close-knit and rallies around each other. As a family unit, they take on the challenge.” The Challenge this time is to Cure MS!
Neilie Callahan – Boston Walk MS
On April 5th, 2009, Neilie Callahan and her family will be manning the rest stop at the Walk MS in Boston. This will be the third year Neilie and her family will be volunteering at the Walk. Peggy Fitzgerald, Neilie’s aunt was diagnosed with MS four years ago. It was a long road to diagnosis for Peggy, having been misdiagnosed with Epstein-Barr Virus for 20 years. Neilie and her family feel it’s important to educate people about MS and make them aware of the disease.
Due to additional financial commitments it was not feasible for her team to walk and raise money, but Neillie found a way for them to support Peggy, by volunteering. She spoke with the Volunteer Coordinator at the CNE Chapter and learned about volunteering at the rest stop and Neillie knew it would be a great fit for them. Not only do they have fun cheering for the walkers, offering snacks and drinks, but Peggy also participates by encouraging the Walkers and thanking them for walking. Nellie’s extended family, from parents, sisters and brothers to, step-siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, step-dad and his sisters, volunteer at the rest stop.
Neillie, is the self proclaimed “Family Planner.” She contacts the chapter about the walk each year and forwards that information along to her family. She said it’s a great way to support the mission. They feel needed, appreciated and it’s a nice way for her family to spend time together.
Are you a professional with media relations experience willing to assist the chapter in launching a state wide public awareness campaign about the laws protecting the parking rights of individuals with walking disabilities? If so, please contact Michelle.email@example.com.
We can always use help at fundraising events, at educational and advocacy programs, and in the office.
To volunteer, please visit our website, or contact:
- Brenda Barbour, Associate V.P., Volunteer Development
- Sandy Baldi, Volunteer Coordinator