We are so proud of our team of Boston Marathon runners, each of whom has a unique story full of personal connections to TCR and strong motivations for running. In order to honor their efforts, we’re going to be introducing our team members 3 at a time. We hope you’ll check back soon to learn more about Lauren Ruffing, John Shea, and Cat Steckbeck.

Meanwhile, we are proud to introduce you to Kerri Conneely, John Fleming, and Deana Hickey.


Kerri Conneely

Arlington native and resident Kerri Conneely has been a longtime friend and supporter of TCR. Kerri’s husband, Marty, has run the Boston Marathon for TCR, but this year, it’s Kerri who has so generously agreed to be a member of our team.

Kerri’s relationship with TCR began in 2005, when Marty decided to run the Boston Marathon to support a local charity. He had received a clean bill of health after two years in treatment for cancer and wanted to give back to the community. The Conneelys were introduced to TCR by local realtor, Steve McKenna, and as soon as they came to our center, Kerri knew that this was their cause. TCR was a place we knew we wanted to help prosper, to continue their journey for supporting grieving children,” said Kerri.

“This year I am running this Boston Marathon because I understand that TCR is a crucial resource for families who were not as lucky as we were to survive an encounter with cancer. I am also running in memory of several of my family members and friends who have died,” she said. “I hope to raise $7,500 and a great deal of awareness for this organization and the vital work it does for the children and families of many local communities.”

John Fleming CROP 2John Fleming

John Fleming is a resident of Woburn and a teacher and coach at Winchester High School. We are so grateful to have John’s positive energy on our team this year.

As a teacher and coach, John is motivated to run by his students and their families. “As a teacher at Winchester High School, I have seen a tremendous amount of loss during the last few years—students, siblings of current students, recent graduates, and parents of students,” he said, “While the community has grieved over these losses together, the families who have lost a loved one need more support. For many grieving families in Winchester and surrounding towns, that support has come from The Children’s Room.”

Deana_CROPDeana Hickey

Deana Hickey, a resident of Melrose, is no stranger to the challenge of running the Boston Marathon for TCR. Incredibly, this is her third Boston Marathon on our behalf. We are deeply grateful to her for taking on this incredible commitment of time and energy on our behalf for a third time.

Deana’s relationship with TCR began in 2012, when she and her family began attending TCR’s peer support groups after the death of her husband, Sean. She is once again running in his memory.

“I knew TCR would be a place where we would be understood without words, a place where everyone just ‘gets’ you the way you are,” she said. “It has been so beneficial for me and most importantly my children, who get to interact with other children who have suffered the same devastating loss.”

About The Team

Each year our marathon team plays a crucial role in raising much-needed funds to support TCR’s programs and services for grieving children, teens, and families. As they have for the past six years, this year’s six bibs, or Boston Marathon numbers, were provided by the John Hancock Marathon Nonprofit Program. Over the past six years our marathon team has raised over $433,800 for The Children’s Room. Runners receive ongoing support from The Children’s Room in reaching their fundraising goals, and during their training, this year’s team will be coached by Crissy Straub and Malinda Dublin of MC Coaching.

We invite you to visit our team’s Crowdrise page to read more and to support all of our runners!