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Team Eye and Ear kicks off 2017 Boston Marathon® training

February 28, 2017
Through a partnership with John Hancock Financial Services, Massachusetts Eye and Ear is preparing a team of runners for the 2017 Boston Marathon.® “Team Eye and Ear” comprises 54 members fundraising in support of Mass. Eye and Ear’s research programs to fight disorders of the eyes, ears, nose, throat, head and neck.

Media Contact:
Suzanne Day
Media Relations Manager, Mass. Eye and Ear

Boston, Mass. — On April 17, 2017, Massachusetts Eye and Ear will kick off its 12th year of participating in the Boston Marathon® as part of John Hancock’s Non-Profit Marathon Program. Fifty-one patients, staff members and friends of Mass. Eye and Ear will run as part of “Team Eye and Ear,” fundraising in support of the institution’s pioneering research programs on disorders of the eyes, ears, nose, throat, head and neck.

“Patients around the world who suffer from hearing and/or vision impairments – or face life-threatening diseases like head and neck cancer – are counting on us to deliver cures,” said John Fernandez, President and CEO of Massachusetts Eye and Ear. “Year after year, Team Eye and Ear members continue to surpass the high bar set for fundraising, enabling our clinicians and scientists to assertively pursue new knowledge in their fields and new avenues of treatment.”

Directed by the Boston Athletic Association since 1897, the Boston Marathon® will host approximately 30,000 runners this year. A 26.2-mile route extending from Hopkinton to Boston, the race routinely draws more than 500,000 spectators, according to estimates by police and public safety officials from the eight cities and towns along the route. With more than 1,100 credentialed media members representing more than 250 outlets annually, the Boston Marathon® ranks behind only the Super Bowl in most media coverage for a single day sporting event in the world. The event is not only an important facet of the city of Boston’s culture and heritage, but is also considered one of the world’s most prestigious road racing events.

Team Eye and Ear members will be running for Mass. Eye and Ear through entries provided by John Hancock Financial Services – the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon® for more than 30 years. Each year, John Hancock donates guaranteed entries for select nonprofit organizations, which use these entries to recruit individual runners to raise money for their cause. John Hancock nonprofit runners raised more than $11 million in 2016. The 2017 Team Eye and Ear members are also grateful for the corporate support from Physicians Realty Trust and White Shark Management LLC.

Every member of Team Eye and Ear has a unique story and connection to Mass. Eye and Ear, and the funds raised for the institution will be invested in its mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck. In 2016, members of Team Eye and Ear raised more than $600,000 for research and patient care at Mass. Eye and Ear.  Team Eye and Ear has raised more than $4 million in the past decade – bringing hope for a healthier future to people everywhere with blindness, deafness and conditions of the head and neck.

“Thanks to our partnership with John Hancock , the significant financial resources shepherded by Team Eye and Ear will expedite cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck,” said Fernandez. “We are grateful for their continued efforts and support on behalf of our mission.”

About Massachusetts Eye and Ear 
Mass. Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck. Now united with Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear is the world's largest vision and hearing research center, developing new treatments and cures through discovery and innovation. Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, through residency as well as clinical and research fellowships. Internationally acclaimed since its founding in 1824, Mass. Eye and Ear employs full-time, board-certified physicians who offer high-quality and affordable specialty care that ranges from the routine to the very complex. In the 2016–2017 “Best Hospitals Survey,” U.S. News & World Report ranked Mass. Eye and Ear #1 in the nation for ear, nose and throat care and #1 in New England for eye care. For more information about life-changing care and research, or to learn how you can help, please visit