Jim O’Malley during last
year’s Boston Marathon.
kids, Jim O’Malley and his younger sister Lauren suffered from constant
earaches, bronchitis and more. But it wasn’t until their brother
Neil was born and became very sick that the Melrose family’s pediatrician
realized something more was wrong.
Referred to Children’s, the O’Malley kids were diagnosed with Hypogammaglobulinemia,
an immune deficiency disorder. With the proper diagnosis, what could
have been a lifetime of chronic illnesses is now a disorder managed
with blood byproduct infusions. With care from Raif
Geha, MD, chief of Immunology, Jim has led a full life
without limitations. Today, still a Children’s patient, he’s 26
and preparing to run his fourth Boston Marathon in honor of the
“It’s a great experience,” Jim says. “The most positive thing I
draw from Children’s is the kindness of the people, the nurses,
the doctors. By running the marathon, I can help them continue their
Jim is running as part of the Kids at Heart marathon program, which
allows non-qualified runners to earn the opportunity to run the
Boston Marathon in exchange for fundraising for the hospital. This
year, Jim earned a qualifying spot after running the November Philadelphia
marathon in 3:10. His marathon goal this spring: to complete the
race in three hours and raise $1,500 for Children’s.