Our Mission

Runway for Recovery is a 501(3)c non-profit that provides families with a continuum of support along their journey with breast cancer. We create community by hosting events and providing services that create joy and inspire hope. With shared understanding we celebrate survivors, honor legacies and fund families.

Our History

"While many breast cancer organizations look to find the cure, I am looking to find ways to help those families for whom the cure does not come in time." -- Olivia Achtmeyer Boger

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Six years after losing my mother to a decade-long fight against breast cancer, I resolved to find an aspect of the disease where I could honor my mother’s memory and make a difference for other families fighting their own battles with breast cancer. For fifteen years, brave survivors and those walking in memory or celebration have become models at the Runway fashion show. They have raised funds to help families who are dealing with the impact of this disease. As survivors, the models epitomize heroism and strength. They carry with them the spirits of all those who have lost their battle with breast cancer, and the families and communities that stood by them.

Unlike most nonprofits focused on breast cancer, Runway is not oriented toward a cure. Instead, we seek to improve the lives of those who are currently affected by breast cancer by serving as a platform for them to access the resources, knowledge, and support they need. Our mission is rooted in the understanding that no one experiences breast cancer alone, and that there are ways to ease the burden of this disease on parents, children, caregivers, and loved ones.  We seek to celebrate and highlight the lives of those affected by breast cancer by motivating communities to support local families and directing funding towards services that significantly improve the lives of children and caregivers along their family's journey with breast cancer.

As Runway celebrates its 15th Anniversary Year, we will continue the work of honoring the survivors and funding the families of those impacted by breast cancer. Thank you for being an integral part of this organization's history and our future.


Founder, Executive Director of Runway

Our Board

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Bill Achtmeyer

Bill Achtmeyer started his career in the strategy consulting industry in 1977 at Bain and Company where he rose to being one of ten senior partners leading the firm. In 1991, Bill Co-founded Parthenon and became Chairman, CEO, and Managing Partner in 1994. By 2014, Parthenon had grown to be a $100mm business with 28 partners and 350 professionals. 

Parthenon merged with EY in the fall of 2014 at an all-time high acquisition multiple for a strategy consulting firm. Bill continued to lead the organization until the end of 2019. Upon handing over the reins, he built EY-Parthenon into a $2 billion, 500 partner, and 5,000 consultant juggernaut. 

Philanthropically, Bill has served as Chairman of numerous organizations, including: the Boston Symphony Orchestra; the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; the Massachusetts High Technology Council; Tenacity; Lawrence Academy; and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. In June of 2012, Bill stepped down as Chairman of the Board of Overseers at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth after 11 years of service. Finally, he has served as Vice Chair at his alma mater, Belmont Hill, for over two decades.

Bill holds an A.B. from Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs) and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Bill has five children and resides in Boston, MA with his wife Alli.

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Lindsay Boger

Lindsay Boger Since leaving the mainstream workforce upon the birth of my second child, I have dedicated myself to raising my two children, a 13-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. During these years, I have done all I can to be as involved as possible in both of their school communities, as well as my local community, volunteering in many different capacities. My career and passion has always been working with children and families as a Clinical Social Worker, working in special needs adoption as well as Shriners Burn Hospital, where I continue to serve as an on-call Social Worker. I have been involved with Runway since its inception. I came to the event first as a guest and then supported the organization as a committee member. I hope to bring my passion and social work knowledge to this amazing organization in a more meaningful and full capacity as a member of the board.

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Jennifer Lubrano Clayton

Jennifer Lubrano Clayton was born and raised in Hingham, MA. After a few years living away, she returned to Hingham with her husband Mark and bought the home next door to her parents where she was a stay-at-home mom to her three children, Zach, Ellie, and Matt. Though she wishes she had had a career, she has had so much joy in raising three amazing children and now seeing her three grandchildren grow up. 

Jennifer’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1979 while she was a sophomore at Colby Sawyer College. She spent many years in remission until a recurrence 11 years later. Jennifer’s mother passed away in 1998. Her mother’s mother and sister were both breast cancer survivors living to 98 and still living at 93. With such a strong family history, Jennifer and her sisters founded “Boobs and Baubles” the year after their mother passed. Deciding they needed to handle their mammograms in a more personal way, each year they go to Dana Farbe together—holding each other's hands in support and then picking out a “Bauble” to commemorate that year. This also included dinner and night in the city! Although some things have changed, they are still doing it 24 years later and it may be one of the most meaningful things the sisters have done together.

Introduced to Runway by fellow board member, Kim Furnald, after the first year, Jennifer has had a front row seat, literally, as the organization has continued to grow and give to the most amazing families. Learning quickly that it is not about the clothes, but about celebrating a life well lived and honoring those no longer with us—jumping for joy for those finishing treatment and encouraging those still fighting.

Last year, Jennifer was the first Lubrano sister to be diagnosed with breast cancer. She was lucky to have caught it early, thanks to her yearly “Boobs and Baubles” trip, and is on the path to full recovery. She says she has learned a lot about herself and how incredibly strong and stoic she can be. Understanding a bit of what her mom must have been feeling, Jennifer says she  will bring her, her daughter, and her sisters with her in all that she does for Runway as a board member.

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Emily Cohen, PhD

Emily Cohen grew up in Concord, Massachusetts and attended Nashoba Brooks where she was classmates with Olivia's sisters, Nell and Kristin. After attending Dana Hall for high school, she graduated from Connecticut College in 2006 majoring in biochemistry. She received her PhD in Genetics from Yale University in 2014 and completed her postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School studying breast cancer signaling and metabolism. She now works as a senior scientist at the Cambridge-based cancer biology biotech company, Kronos Bio.

Emily lost her mom to breast cancer in 2003 and her cousin in 2010, and her aunt (mom's sister/cousin's mother) has survived breast cancer three times. She was diagnosed with a BRCA1 mutation in 2014 and underwent a prophylactic double mastectomy with reconstruction in 2017. She completed the 39-mile Avon Breast Cancer walk five times, raising more than $10,000. She has been a Bright Pink/Imerman Angels mentor for the last five years providing guidance and support to fellow previvors. She first walked the Runway in 2012 and 2013 and has been an alumni model since 2016. She has been a Runway family grant reader since summer 2019 and has served as a family liaison volunteer since early 2021. Through her work with one of the families, she was inspired to pay for the student's tuition that wouldn't otherwise have been covered. Wanting to have a bigger, long term impact, she started the Linda K. Cohen Tuition Fund within Runway in memory of her mother to help additional family grant recipients in extreme circumstances who need tuition assistance through high school. Emily has loved being a part of Runway and helping families affected by breast cancer in any way she can, and she looks forward to seeing Runway grow and help even more families.

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Maggie Corcoran Seitz

Maggie Corcoran Seitz is thrilled to be joining the board of Runway for Recovery. As a lifelong Boston resident, Maggie is personally and professionally familiar with both the health care and philanthropic landscapes of the city and the surrounding areas. Having lost her own mother to breast cancer in 2017, Maggie is eager to have the opportunity to help other families dealing with such a difficult situation. Maggie holds her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Boston College and currently resides in the South End with her family.

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Crystal Davis

Crystal Davis is currently a nurse in the Neurology Intensive Care Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She has spent the past seventeen years caring for patients and their families. In 2008 her wonderful husband Ronald became her caretaker for 22 months while she underwent treatment for stage 3 breast cancer. The courage that it took to survive came from her herself, her husband, and her two amazing children Nya and Kai. Her goal since her remission has been to be a support others and their families going through this life changing event. Her magnetic and vibrant personality are not only an inoculation for everyone she comes in contact with but also has helped her healing along the way. She completed the Susan B. Koman 3-day cancer walk while going through treatment. And after being a part of that event she said, "I knew then that I wanted to continue to dance and light up the stage for an organization that I believed in, and Runway For Recovery has become just that!"

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Maggie DeMont

Maggie DeMont is currently the SVP of Corporate Strategy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she has held a variety of different roles over the past 10+ years. Prior to HMH, Maggie was in Strategy Consulting as a Principal at the Parthenon Group, where she first met Olivia when she was her summer intern. She has her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and began her career in Investment Banking as a Senior Analyst at Chase Securities. Maggie has been attending Runway since it’s early days at Nashawtuc to support Olivia and honor her Grandmother Maggie who passed away from breast cancer. Maggie has three daughters and enjoys skiing with them and her husband on the weekends.

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Dr. Leslie T. Fang

Dr. Leslie T. Fang received his Ph.D. degree in Biophysics from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He did his medical training at Harvard Medical School and his
residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital where he served as Chief
Medical Resident. He did his fellowship training in Nephrology at the Massachusetts
General Hospital and is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. A
clinician and a teacher, he maintains an active international practice in Internal
Medicine and Nephrology and is a leading teacher at Harvard Medical School. At the
Massachusetts General Hospital, he served as Chief of the Walter Bauer Firm and as the Chair of the Clinical Practice Committee. He has received numerous awards for
excellence in teaching from Harvard Medical School and has served and chaired the
Medical Internship Selection Committee at the Massachusetts General Hospital for two
decades. He has been repeatedly honored among the Best Doctors of America. 

Board Bios for June 2021

Kristin Ferrari

Kristin Ferrari lives in Bedford, MA, with her three children: Alex, 22, Emma, 20, Ryan, 16, and her husband, Peter Ferrari, president of Shields Healthcare. In September of 2012, Kristin was diagnosed with Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma; she was 40 years old. One month after her diagnosis, she underwent a double mastectomy at Massachusetts General Hospital and is now a proud 8-year survivor. Her healing journey brought her to Runway for Recovery, where she has found significant belonging and has become an active member. Kristin has been invited to speak about her experience at high profile fundraising events like the PMC, Bedford Parents Association, and the Relay for Life. In February 2020, Kristin organized the R4R Rally in Bedford, MA that raised $4.1K in one day.

For the last seven years, she has been an integral part of the Bedford High School Counseling Department, where she works as the Administrative Assistant to the Director. Before that, she was a physician’s assistant at Winchester Hospital Chiro. Ms. Ferrari is an active member of the Parent Association and Parent Council in Bedford, MA.  

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Ashley Keeney

Ashley Keeney Mom of two wonderful children aged 5 and 3, Ashley lives in Marblehead MA with her husband. Ashley worked for 12 years in the Consumer Goods Industry in Marketing and Sales roles. Beginning with Procter and Gamble and most recently serving as a Director at Reckitt Benckiser. I'm currently working on my MBA at Boston University and looking forward to teaching Sales, Negotiations, and Consumer Behavior upon graduation.  My connection to the Runway organization is as a friend to Olivia, and I'm inspired and honored to service as a member of its board.

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Kimberly Ahrendt Furnald

Kimberly Ahrendt Furnald Estate Planning and Private Business Solutions. Currently focused on creative insurance-based solutions for the estate planning needs of individuals and private business owners. Have worked in the financial services industry for more than 35 years. Fortunate enough to have known Cande and the Achtmeyer Family for over 30 years. I have introduced a number of families and friend to Runway which has strengthened our bond. Clint and I live on a working farm in NH and are the proud parents of two grown sons; one in the financial services world and the other is a local dairy farmer. I have been on the board of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Mass, a chair of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s Party in the Park, as well as past president and current board member of the Financial Planning Association of Northern New England. 

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Randall Kennedy

Randall Kennedy  (Randy) is an American law professor and author at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the Michael R. Klein Professor of Law and focuses his research on the intersection of racial conflict and legal institutions in American life. He specializes in the areas of contracts, freedom of expression, race relations law, civil rights legislation, and the Supreme Court. One of his six books, Race, Crime, and the Law, won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. Randy is the father of three young adults, and lost his own wife to cancer (not breast), in 2005 while his children were quite young. He is, therefore, quite empathetic of the families who are applying to Runway. Of note, Randy is a dear friend of Bill Achtmeyer, having first met my Bill at Princeton as his freshman-year roommate, and he is therefore thrilled to give his expertise and strategic vision to Runway in honor of their friendship. 

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Tim Llewellyn

Tim Llewellyn As a photographer, Tim Llewellyn has shot on location all over the world for major
corporations, agencies, and non-profits. With a particular focus on healthcare and lifestyle portraiture, his work combines high production value and a captured moment style, blurring the line between the orchestrated and the candid.
He has been included three times in the Communication Arts Photography Annual and
has won the People’s Choice Award for Professional Advertising at the Prix de la Photograhie in Paris.
On the motion side, Tim's directing, writing and cinematography concentrate on shaping compelling and emotional narratives. His production company, Copper Hound Pictures, has been honored by several industry awards, most recently a Telly Award for his work with the Stone Ridge School in Maryland.

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Suzanne Lowell

Suzanne Lowell President and Lead Designer for Suzanne B Lowell Lighting Design, Inc. since 1995. Previously on the faculty and staff of the Boston Conservatory. Breast Cancer Survivor since 2006, a preventative, second mastectomy in 2007 showed cancer in the pathology. Working with Runway for ten years, providing the lighting for the entire event.   I have been a long time supporter of charities that relate to animal welfare with primary focus upon Baypath Humane Society and Buddy Dog Humane Society. My favorite activity is anything that involves my partner, Liz.

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Linda Matzkin

Linda Matzkin was a speech pathologist by profession, and was fortunate enough to have two great jobs in the field at an early age.  During this time, however, she frequently found her brain wandering from its intellectual side to its creative side!  She started an event planning company, Hopple Popple, Inc, in her garage-turned-office. When she closed Hopple Popple 30 years later, she had built a business of 18 strong (mostly) women and enjoyed a reputation as a leader in the industry of event planning.

Most recently,Linda is consulting part-time with her daughter Abby and friend Tamar, who are the power team behind Two Eight Four Weddings and Events.  The rest of her time is spent on the many things she enjoys such as reading, walking, traveling, and baking! She is devoted to her husband and family, and ever grateful that my children and grandchildren live locally.

Linda has always been involved with non-profit organizations, both professionally and personally. A few years ago she was introduced to Runway through a dear friend and since that night, she has been a staunch supporter of Olivia—her mission, her drive, her tireless efforts…her sheer energy! Linda is honored to be a part of this incredible organization and to champion its cause.

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Henry McNamara

Henry McNamara is a Partner at Great Oaks Venture Capital where he invests and advises early stage consumer, healthcare and technology businesses such as Allbirds, Away, Flatiron Health, Maven Clinic and Acorns. Henry was one of Olivia’s first students at Fenn in 2004 and attended the very first R4R event. In addition to R4R Henry has done work with philanthropic organizations such as Venture for America and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center. Henry, and his fiancé Laura, love to travel, ski and golf!

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Nicole Merhill

Nicole Merhill is the Director of the Office for Gender Equity (OGE) at Harvard University and serves as the University’s Title IX Coordinator. Nicole has more than 15 years of civil rights experience in various protected class statuses, including sex, race, color, national origin, disability, and age. Nicole is a licensed attorney and holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and English from Purdue University (1998), and a J.D. and a Master in Education Law from University of New Hampshire School of Law (2001).

In July 2016, Nicole was diagnosed with breast cancer, a diagnosis she was very familiar with, as her mother was similarly diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 40s. After receiving treatment from Massachusetts General Hospital throughout 2016 and into 2017, Nicole quickly identified opportunities to support others going through similar diagnosis, including serving as a Face-to-Face Coordinator for the Young Survival Coalition (YSC).  In 2018, Nicole committed to ride her first Pan Mass Challenge. She is now a fifth year living proof rider, having raised over forty-five thousand dollars for Dana Farber Cancer Center. In 2021, Nicole walked her first runway and since then she was hooked!

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Christina Fagan Pardy

Christina Fagan Pardy Founder and CEO of Sh*t That I Knit, a Boston-based knit accessories brand. If you're familiar with STIK, it is likely because we have partnered with Runway for the past four years - setting up a trunk show at the (incredible) event and donating 40% of our sales to Runway. While this partnership has solidified my love of Runway, my connection to the organization began 12 years ago when I volunteered for my field hockey coach's (Olivia Achtmeyer) first R4R event at the Concord Country Club. When I'm not running my business, I love hanging out with my *new* husband Alex, you can find us skiing on the weekends and playing backgammon by the fire or on the beach! STIK began donating Give-A-Sh*t Knit Kits to young adult cancer patients a few years ago so that they could benefit from meditative knitting while undergoing cancer treatments. We've donated well over 400 knitting kits to Young Adult Programs all over the country, most notably at Dana Farber.

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Ginger Bailey Pearson

Ginger Bailey Pearson is an active member of her community and has supported Runway since its inception. Candace Achtmeyer, the inspiration for Runway, was an important part of Ginger’s childhood. Mrs. Achtmeyer modeled selflessness, was an incredible mother who dedicated her life to her family and friends and touched so many with her generosity. It is an honor and
privilege for Ginger to be a part of the team and witness the tremendous growth and impact of Runway.

Ginger runs a family-owned business that invests in real estate. She is also the Executive Director of the Battles Foundation that supports the underserved. Spending time with her daughter, playing sports and helping others provide Ginger great joy.

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Sara Weiss

Sara Weiss is a three time cancer survivor, an active leader and volunteer for cancer organizations, and a clinical trial expert who has dedicated her life to making a difference in oncology.  She was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30, and again at age 48.  She was diagnosed with head and neck cancer at age 53.  After multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation, she is grateful to be healthy and active.

Professionally, Sara has focused her career on cancer clinical testing, and in doing so has developed a strong foundation for evaluating research and clinical trials on a scientific basis. For 25 years she has helped bring promising drugs and biologics through all stages of clinical trials and FDA approval. As a pharmaceutical executive and leader, she has built clinical groups to enable companies to advance from research and development into clinical testing. She has a proven track record building and managing effective teams and designing, setting up, and executing trials at both domestic and international sites.

Her oncology engagement extends to her volunteer work as well. Sara was a co-founder of Thrive, a support organization for young cancer survivors (now part of Young Survivor Coalition) and a peer mentor-volunteer in DFCI’s soulmates program with the American Cancer Society. She is currently a patient advocate at the DFCI, supporting newly diagnosed patients. She was a patient advocate on the breast and gynecological team that received a grant from SU2C (Stand Up to Cancer) and on multiple DFCI SPORE grants. She loves to windsurf, compete in triathlons, and read. She is married with two children and a dog, and lives north of Boston.

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Wick Sollers

Wick Sollers is the former Managing Partner of King and Spaulding’s office in Washington, D.C., and the current Chair of the law firm’s 270 lawyer Government Matters practice group. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and U.S. Senate Special Counsel. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Maryland Law School. He has served or is serving on a number of non-profit Boards, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, St. Paul’s School for Boys in Baltimore, and Living Classrooms.

Bill Achtmeyer

Chairman of the Board

"The thing that is unbelievable about this event is the comradery and level of enthusiasm that takes place when the models begin to come down the runway."

Suzanne B. Lowell

Board Member, 12 Year In-Kind Sponsor

"It was so meaningful to see someone who had just suffered such a horrible loss be elevated by all of these people and all of this love."

We create a stage for heroes

Runway redefines the experience of breast cancer for families in three ways.

Community

After twelve Boston area events, the Runway community has grown to include hundreds of former Runway "models," a spirited tribe of supporters, and a growing cohort of beneficiaries who have received funding from Runway. Part of Runway's mission is to provide opportunities for connection, shared experience, and healing within this community. To serve as a platform for those affected by breast cancer to find hope, support, and a tribe, ready and willing to offer a hand. We do this by offering options for connection both virtually and in person throughout the year.

Event

Each year, we invite our community to nominate models who have been affected by breast cancer to dance down our Runway in a celebration of life. The event, held annually in October, attracts hundreds of people to cheer on our models. Local and national boutiques, hair and makeup artists, volunteers, and past models collaborate to pamper models for their trip down the Runway, demonstrating their strength and persistence. The event is the cornerstone of the Runway mission to celebrate families, survivors, and warriors undergoing treatment.

Families

The fundraising we do through the event and auction, and the generous contributions of our community not only cover our nonprofit operations and programs, but allow us to deploy funding toward families who have lost their mother to breast cancer or those families who have a caregiver living with stage IV breast cancer. With careful stewardship, Runway bolsters these families with a combination of financial support and wraparound services from counseling to academic support. The needs of each family differ immensely, and so does the support they receive from Runway.

Why We Walk

"I walk for the first person to ever love me, and teach me about love—my tough, smart, outspoken, and brave mother, Peggy Underwood." Darren Allen, walking in memory of his mother, Peggy Underwood (2012)

Darren Allen

"I walk for the first person to ever love me, and teach me about love—my tough, smart, outspoken, and brave mother."

Walking in memory of his mother, Peggy Underwood (2012)

 

Rachael Asselin, walking in memory of her mother, Rylin Ann Malone (1993)

Rachael Asselin

"I’m walking because we have all been touched by incredible women in our lives.  Women who have given us strength we didn’t know we had, showed us the way when we couldn’t see, and taught us what it means to love unconditionally."

Walking in memory of her mother, Rylin Ann Malone (1993)

Jenna Auber, a survivor since 2013

Jenna Auber

"I walk in the hope that someday, no one will have to utter the words "I lost my Mom (wife, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin) to Breast Cancer.”

A survivor since 2013

Meet Our Full-Time Volunteers

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Runway for Recovery remains a nearly all-volunteer run organization. We have a team of dedicated and uniquely qualified individuals who work tirelessly to promote our message, manage our events and care for our families. Our volunteers give of themselves so that we can continue to give to those who need it most.

We need your help

The Runway community has been fortunate enough to meet over 550 men, women, and children who have been affected by breast cancer. All the funds, over $1.6M since our founding, goes to wrap-around services for families facing the unimaginable during and after a breast cancer diagnosis.

We want nothing more than to continue changing the lives of those affected by this disease in big ways and small. This is where you come in! Any donation truly helps and we are extremely grateful.

You may donate online by clicking the button below or sending a check to:
Runway for Recovery
29 Water Street, Suite 216
Newburyport, MA 01950