Newswise — Boston, Mass. — On April 16, 2018, Massachusetts Eye and Ear will kick off its 13th year of participating in the Boston Marathon® as part of John Hancock’s Non-Profit Marathon Program. Sixty-seven patients, staff members and friends of Mass. Eye and Ear will run as part of Team Eye and Ear, fundraising in support of the hospital’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 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 $12 million in 2017. 

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 2017, the 54 members of Team Eye and Ear raised more than $650,000 for research and patient care at Mass. Eye and Ear.  Team Eye and Ear has raised more than $4.6 million since 2006 – 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 
Massachusetts Eye and Ear, founded in 1824, is an international center for treatment and research and a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. Specializing in ophthalmology (eye care) and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery (ear, nose and throat care), Mass. Eye and Ear clinicians provide care ranging from the routine to the very complex. Also home to the world's largest community of hearing and vision researchers, Mass. Eye and Ear has pioneered new treatments for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck. Our scientists are driven by a mission to discover the basic biology underlying these conditions and to develop new treatments and cures. In the 2017-2018 "Best Hospitals Survey," U.S. News & World Report ranked Mass. Eye and Ear #2 in the nation for ear, nose and throat care and #4 for eye care. For more information about life-changing care and research at Mass. Eye and Ear, please visit our blog, Focus, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.