Mother Running Boston Marathon for Daughter Suffering From Brain Cancer

The mother of a 10-year-old Lynn girl with a brain tumor is running the Boston Marathon for her.

On Saunders Road in Lynn, Massachusetts, lives a little girl who loves to swing. You can always go a little higher when mom has your back.

Stephanie Rosa is running this year's Boston Marathon for her 10-year-old daughter, Olivia, who has been battling a brain tumor since she was just 2.

"You know, in the beginning, when she first got sick, we didn't know where things were going to end up," Stephanie Rosa said.

When Olivia was 2 years old, she started vomiting.

"Like, I can't really get up, because it hurts really bad," Olivia said.

Doctors weren't able to find anything with her stomach. Then they checked her brain.

"She was diagnosed on the 14th of September," said Stephanie Rosa. "I had Chloe on the 15th of September, so I was pregnant when we found out that (Olivia) had the brain tumor, and then on the 16th of September, she had her 10-hour brain surgery to remove half of the brain tumor."

The day after Stephanie Rosa gave birth to her second child, her first was having brain surgery.

The tumor stabilized for six years, then the vomiting returned in 2017 as the tumor grew again. She started chemotherapy again.

Doctors can't remove the tumor entirely because of where it's growing in her brain.

Olivia is being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital, and every year, they have a Boston Marathon team where runners are matched with patients. She has been sponsored twice.

Last year, she made a confession to her mom that she was tired of being sick.

"That just kind of really got to me," said Stephanie Rosa.

She said knew what she had to do — run the Boston Marathon for her daughter.

"It's something I think only she could pull off in our family, and hopefully she sets an example for the kids," said Ricardo Rosa.

Since she started training, Stephanie has raised thousands of dollars for cancer research.

On Marathon Monday, Olivia will push mom along when she sees her at Mile 20.

"I will give her a big hug, but she will be wet," said Olivia.

Stephanie Rosa isn't running for time or for the glory. She's running so families don't have to go through what they are living.

Contact Us