Each year, the Boston Marathon brings together runners from around the globe. This year, one of the international runners who will be running into Boston on April 17 will be Kerry Egan, a resident of Abu Dhabi, UAE, who will be representing The New England Center for Children’s (NECC) charity team.
“I’ve wanted to run a marathon for a long time now and this year, not only do I have the chance to take part in 127th Boston Marathon, but I’m doing it in an effort to raise money for NECC, a global leader in autism research and education,” shared Egan, SLPD, CCC-SLP, BCBA, who is the director of Speech & Language Services at the Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education Operated by NECC (MRC-NECC) in Abu Dhabi. Egan began working for NECC 14 years ago, beginning as an SLP for the residential teams at NECC Southborough before moving to work in the MRC-NECC program five years later.
“Working for NECC has allowed me to see firsthand what a difference the right services and supports can make for an individual with autism and their families,” shared Egan. “I know part of my job is to help improve the lives of our students and to make a difference for them, but it also works in the opposite direction. I’ve lost count of how many students and families have left an impact on me over the years and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to give back in some small way by raising money as a member of TeamNECC for the Boston Marathon.”
A native of Lynbrook, NY, Egan experienced her first Boston Marathon 11 years ago and has been considering running a marathon ever since. “I was a very casual recreational runner at that time and thought it would be too hard to run a marathon,” she explained. “However, the idea always stayed in the back of my mind and about a year ago, I decided to really commit and try to do it. The Boston Marathon is what sparked my interest in the distance, so for this to be my first marathon is very special.”
Egan added that the draw of running 26.2 miles was the level of challenge. “I like to challenge myself and see what I’m able to accomplish and then learn from that and use it to set new goals for myself,” she said. “I expect I’ll gain a huge sense of accomplishment once I cross that finish line.”
In addition to grueling training, Egan has also gained an appreciation for the importance and the difficulty of fundraising. “Having worked in both the Southborough and Abu Dhabi centers, I know these funds will help continue to provide our students with the best that we can offer,” said Egan, who has raised more than $10,000 for NECC, all from the opposite side of the globe. “Not only do we do amazing work with our students and families, but it’s a supportive environment to work in as a staff member. We have access to some of the best minds in the field and are able to collaborate, learn, and continuously better ourselves as professionals in a way that isn’t possible anywhere else.”
Egan is looking forward to being back in Boston on race day, and the crowd support along the course. “The Boston Marathon is what got me interested in running a marathon from experiencing the energy of the day as a spectator. I imagine that experiencing it as a runner makes it even more special and will be a huge motivator to keep going when things start to feel tough,” she said, adding that she is also looking forward to seeing and experiencing crossing the finish line with family who will be cheering her on.
“I think the biggest thing that I’m looking forward to is making that right on Hereford, left on Boylston – seeing that finish line come into view and then crossing it and knowing that I’ve accomplished a huge goal that I set for myself – and also helped out NECC, our students, and families in the process!”
To support Egan, visit her Boston Marathon fundraising page.