Amputee Marathoner Presents Medal to Hasbro Patient

April 19, 2017

Hector Picard joins Anna Kitada, her mother, Claudia, and sister, Kate, for a group photo after the two girls received Boston Marathon finisher’s medals. Mr. Picard dedicated his race to Anna, while his friend Mark Dobersch asked that his medal be given to Kate.

As he made his way through the grueling 26.2 miles of the 2017 Boston Marathon, Hector Picard, a double-arm amputee athlete, found the strength he needed to persevere on a special lanyard he wore around his neck.

The lanyard featured a photo of 12-year-old Anna Kitada of Smithfield, a Hasbro Children’s Hospital patient, currently battling bone cancer who is also an amputee. Mr. Picard dedicated his race to Anna while also raising funds for One Mission, a local pediatric cancer charity that supports programs at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and helps kids and their families get through cancer treatment.

On Tuesday, April 18, the day after he finished the Boston Marathon with a time of 4 hours and 22 minutes, Mr. Picard returned to Hasbro Children’s Hospital to present Anna with his finisher’s medal. He first met Anna and her family on April 14.

“Anna got me through this race; her photo was blowing in the wind, reminding me that she was there,” said Mr. Picard. “My message is to never stop believing and to live life fully and with passion.”

During the emotional meeting, Mr. Picard not only presented Anna with a commemorative Boston Marathon race jersey to go along with his finisher’s medal, he also had a surprise for her younger sister, Kate. When Hector’s friend Mark Dobersch, a cancer survivor who is also an amputee, learned what he was doing, he gave Mr. Picard his medal to give to Kate.

Meeting Mr. Picard and learning about the obstacles he’s faced and triumphed over provided Anna with something even more valuable than gold — hope.

“I’m trying to get back to running again, and because Hector is doing it, I know I can do it,” said Anna.

Added Mr. Picard, “I hope that my race will inspire others to never give up and to overcome all obstacles that lie ahead. I worked hard for my medal, but it’s nothing compared to how hard Anna is working to get healthy.”