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Cellucci thanks Boston Marathon runners

Team raised $80,000 for the UMass ALS Champion Fund

By Kristen O'Reilly

UMass Medical School Communications

June 27, 2012
   Celllucci thanks Boston Marathon runners-LN
  Pictured with Gov. Paul Cellucci are six of the nine members of the 2012 UMass ALS Champion Fund Boston Marathon Team. Front, from left: Anna Serquina, Governor Cellucci, Matthew Sbrogna. Back, from left: Michael Traverse, Charlie Desourdy, Philip Frattaroli and Rob Carlin.

Former Gov. Paul Cellucci recently thanked members of the 2012 UMass ALS Champion Fund Boston Marathon team for successfully raising more than $80,000 to support amyotropyic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) research at UMass Medical  School. At a reception on campus held Thursday, June 21, Gov. Cellucci met six of the nine team members who ran this year’s Boston Marathon in support the fund.


The UMass ALS Champion Fund will help researchers pursue leads and breakthroughs right now that might otherwise take years to attract funding from traditional sources. The fund supports the laboratory of Robert H. Brown Jr., DPhil, MD, chair and professor of neurology and a national leader in ALS research. Cellucci, who is being treated by Dr. Brown at UMass Memorial Medical Center, is leading the campaign to raise millions of dollars for the fund.

This was the first marathon for Phil Frattaroli of Boston, owner of Ducali Pizzeria in Boston’s North End, who only recently started running. Although he wasn’t challenging the elite runners on the course, he succeeded in raising the most money for the ALS UMass Champion Fund: $31,452. “I was a better fundraiser than runner,” said Frattaroli, who is a family friend of the Celluccis.

Occupational therapist Joshua Jabaut, of Saranac, NY, finished with the fastest time on the team at 3:47:49, despite the less-than-ideal 90-degree weather. Jabaut raised more than $7,000 to help fight a disease that has affected his friends and patients.

Other team members’ experience at tackling marathons varied widely: Shrewsbury native Matthew Sbrogna, now of Boston, raised more than $10,000 for the fund in preparation for running his first marathon. In contrast, Ram Viswanathan of India has competed in more than 27 marathons. He raised more than $7,500 for the cause.

The four runners with direct ties to UMass Medical School collectively raised more than $20,000: Graduate School of Biomedical Science student Anna Serquina; Charles Desourdy, UMMS associate CIO of enterprise networks; Cindy Palmer, a registered nurse in the UMass Memorial Medical Center Pediatric ICU; and photographer Rob Carlin, a former employee who works frequently for the Medical School as a freelancer.