By Carol Masshardt

Susan Hurley, 61, is the founder and owner of Chairty, established to support charity runners and the organization they represent. She is also a life force, who in addition to working as a consultant with the South Boston Neighborhood House’s running team, plans to run the Boston Marathon again this year. And, all with a serious health condition.

“I started running in second grade, and haven’t stopped,” she said. “Connecting philanthropy with my passion for running allows me to see people accomplish so much and it benefits the community.”

Susan Hurley was a New England Patriots Cheerleader in the late 1980’s, raised children and started a business, all while training for and running marathons. Her core motivation is a belief that challenges are opportunities, and that disciplined activity can reap physical and mental rewards.

“I see people set and complete goals and push themselves and learn in the process. The “Ollie” is an organization that I call the little gem in the city and is really an incredible place. I see the seniors there in the morning, and then all the youth programs. It offers something for everyone through all life stages. There is real empathy, and Mary Fiske (Director of Development) is an example of how to see and treat people.”

She works with 48 organizations, so gets to know many of them well.

“I think the Ollie has such a capacity to provide on-going volunteer possibilities well beyond the Marathon. Some young people really do want involvement and don’t know quite how to connect. There are seven runners this year for the SBNN. They are all accepted by the Boston Athletic Association.

“After being accepted, it is the ‘what now’ moment. I consult with the organizations and help the runners find the best match and prepare and fundraise. It is a commitment on all parts, and a wonderful one,” she said.

This year, in addition to all of the above-mentioned, Susan had the shock of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

“It took me totally by surprise, but now I want to try to set an example of how you can keep going on. Life is a gift, and that is every day. Yes, I will run and this year with my son, Max,” she said.

A love of Boston, her family, the Neighborhood House, and all that she has done will be part of her run this year, including I suspect, her lived philosophy that every “ending is a new starting line.”

(Congratulations, Susan, with fondness returned from South Boston.)