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Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Pitching In for Tim
By Rick Winterson

Young Tim Burke is undergoing chemotherapy at Dana-Farber.  He is a fan of the Red Sox, so his family, friends, and neighbors are “pitching in” for Tim next Friday, September 30, at the IBEW hall on Freeport Street in Dorchester.  The theme at Tim’s “time” is baseball, so come in an appropriate costume.

  You probably have seen 11-year-old Tim Burke at one point or another this summer.  He was in front of the Red Sox dugout, talking with Jacoby Ellsbury.  Possibly you saw him on the tube.  Perhaps you noticed him selling lemonade, one of the ways that young boys have raised summertime spending money, ever since mankind has been harvesting lemons and sugar.

  You could be excused for thinking that Tim is a lucky young man for having such meaningful activities. But there’s more to Tim’s story:  He donated the proceeds from the lemonade he sold to Dana-Farber Hospital.  He raised an astonishing $2,000, and split it between paying for events for kids on the Dana-Farber cancer ward, and Dr. Silverman, who treats Tim and performs research at Dana-Farber.

  You see, Tim has leukemia.  He has a form of leukemia that is called “A.L.L.” for short; the full name of his affliction is “acute lymphocytic leukemia”.  Tim and his family found out in January this year, and he has been undergoing chemotherapy ever since.  It is a very long, difficult treatment program, which will go on until February or March, 2013.

  During this interview, Tim described how much the treatments exhaust him – it’s a series of as many as 30 injections in his thigh muscles.  The material injected is called “asparaginase”, an enzyme used to combat leukemia.  However, after describing what he is going through, he quickly shouts, “I’m gonna beat this!”  And of course, Tim will beat it.  You can be sure of that.

  Thirty-five of Tim’s friends in South Boston, chaired by Donna Rans, along with countless local merchants and businesses, have arranged a time for Tim.  They are calling this time “Pitching in for Tim”, because Tim is such an ardent Red Sox fan.  It will take place next Friday, September 30, 7 till 11 p.m., at the IBEW Local 103 Hall, 256 Freeport Street in Dorchester.  You are welcome to come in baseball attire, so anyone of you who plays league baseball, please put on your uniform and show up.

  Southie times are always great times, but “Pitching in for Tim” will be extra-special and unusually enjoyable.  Baseball is the theme.  Wally, the Green Monster, will put in an appearance, so you can have your picture taken with him.  Ball park food (Fenway franks, perhaps?) and a cash bar will be featured.

  Do you like entertainment?  That big-hearted comedian, Tony V., will be there, as he has been for so many Southie times in the past.  Jimmy Jay, the “DJ of the Stars” was recently voted “America’s DJ”.  He’ll provide the music for you.  Dancing is encouraged, even if you plan to wear your cleats.

  The raffles and auctions, both live and silent, will be just as special as the rest of the evening.  How about an i-Pad as a raffle item?  When Auctioneer Sean Paine asks for bids, will you bid on two tickets (and possibly four) to the Dropkick Murphy Concert at Fenway Park next March 17, St, Patrick’s Day?  There are so many other fantastic items that we can only encourage you to show up and take the time to look at each one carefully.

  If you don’t know Tim, he’s both athletic (baseball, swimming, golf) and studious.  He’s an A and B student at Jackson School in Newton; he has his sights set on B.C. High next year.  Tim’s an avid reader as well, including Percy Jackson’s “Greek Mythology”, the “39 Clue” series, and Dustin Pedroia’s book, “Born to Play”.

  Unfortunately, Tim may not be able to attend his own friendship party.  Chemo weakens the immune system, so venturing into large crowds of people is not recommended.  But he wishes all his friends a great time.  Get your tickets and support Tim by calling Donna Rans: 617 331 6128.

  See you there.    

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Tim Burke.