Local Residents to Run Marathon to Benefit Boston Children’s Hospital


Jeffrey and Nancy Bilezikian

By Alin K. Gregorian
Mirror-Spectator Staff

WATERTOWN, Mass. — Two Watertown residents — Jeffrey Bilezikian and Kim Airasian — will run the 114th Boston Marathon on April 19 to benefit Children’s Hospital Boston. As members of Children’s Miles for Miracles Team, runners are motivated by the thought that they are helping children and families.

Airasian’s daughter, Victoria, was born in 2006 with a lower left limb deficiency.

Airasian said that she was made aware of the condition early on in her pregnancy and thus was ready to get her the best possible care, which meant Children’s Hospital.

Victoria, who will turn 4 in October, has been under the care of the hospital’s Orthopedics Department and one of the nation’s leading prosthetists, she explained.

“Children’s has been really wonderful and put us in touch with the right people,” she said. Her daughter, she said, is happy and as active as a typical 3-year-old.

Airasian said that she ran her first marathon in 2005 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Airasian, who attended Middlebury College in Vermont and Suffolk Law School in Boston, works part-time as an attorney at a small non-profit.

Airasian and her husband, Robert, are both lifelong residents of Watertown. They also have a son, Robert, who will be 2 in July.

“My goal is to raise $7,500, but now I am close to $5,500,” she explained. “When people realize what you’re running for, they’re so generous.”

“I’m really enjoying it,” Airasian said, about her training and marathon running. “I can’t see me stopping.”

In addition to running on the Miles for Miracles team, Bilezikian is a member of the hospital’s Next Generation Developer’s Task Force, which raised more than $10 million for the creation of the Yawkey Family Inn at Children’s Hospital Boston in Brookline, a home-away-from-home for patient families whose children require long-term hospitalization.

The Next Generation Developer’s Task Force is currently working on converting a “crummy [piece of] land into a usable park in Jamaica Plain.”Since 1996, the program has raised more than $11 million for Children’s Hospital through the efforts of more than 2,000 runners.

Bilezikian said that his dedication to the hospital started a few years ago, when a cousin was treated there. Various doctors had been unable to properly diagnose his cousin, he explained, and “Children’s was the only place that correctly diagnosed him as having a brain tumor. Subsequently he had surgery.”

“My cousin’s mother really got me interested to start” volunteering at Children’s, he noted.

He added that this year’s Boston Marathon is going to be his first full marathon. He said he has already raised $10,000 and hopes for another $5,000 to $10,000.

Aside from raising money to construct the inn, Bilezikian said that his family also volunteers to cook for the visitors so that they can still eat healthy.

Bilezikian and his wife, Nancy, live in Watertown and attend Armenian Memorial Church and are also supporters of the Armenia Tree Project and the Perkins School for the Blind, which has started a new teacher-training program in Armenia. They have two daughters, ages 2 and 4.

To support these runners, visit www.childrenshospital.org/bostonmarathon and type in the runner’s name.