For Lindsay Broomfield, running the 2023 Falmouth Road Race for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation (JAF) is, in her words, “a full circle moment” of the last 20 years of her life.
In the fall of 2002, sixth grader Lindsay saw WBZ Radio was holding a contest for ten kids to write the best essay on seatbelt safety. The winning participants would be interviewed on WBZ Radio and get free tickets to a New England Patriots game that season.
Already a huge Patriots fan from watching games with her dad, Lindsay sent in her essay—hoping she’d be a part of the lucky group that won. Lindsay soon found out she was among the winners and earned the grand prize of having a Patriots player drive her to school and speak to her class. That Patriots player? None other than Joe Andruzzi.
“I honestly couldn’t believe it,” Lindsay said. “Joe spent the whole day with my class and signed so many pictures. He just seemed like a normal guy and was so nice and cool.”
Joe must have made quite an impression. When Lindsay was in college, her business society fundraised for JAF, organizing a flag football tournament and a raffle with all proceeds going to the Foundation.
While she’s more than happy to tell the story of meeting Joe and her commitment to JAF’s mission, that’s not the main reason why Lindsay is running Falmouth for Team JAF this year. In 2017, Lindsay’s cousin’s infant daughter, Laurel Pearl, was diagnosed with advanced-stage neuroblastoma—a type of cancer in infants and young children that occurs in developing nerves—at just a year old.
“She loved to read books, paint, and play at the beach,” Lindsay said. “She was just a beautiful soul who loved ladybugs.”
Unfortunately, Laurel Pearl passed away in 2018 at age two. Since then, Lindsay and the family have been determined to honor Laurel’s legacy and the joy she brought to so many through events. This time, Lindsay wants to honor Laurel’s legacy by helping raise money for those amidst a cancer journey.
Lindsay is no stranger to running Falmouth, having participated in 2019 as a charity runner. This year, she generously used her guaranteed bib through the lottery to join Team JAF.
As soon as Lindsay was accepted to Team JAF, she was off and running again, despite a few comical mishaps. With an 18-month-old daughter at home, the Lancaster, MA native had to become acquainted with a jogger stroller. That first stroller run around the neighborhood was quite an experience for her.
“It was literally the hardest run I’d ever been on. I got a mile and a half in and was like, ‘Man, this is hard!’” Lindsay said with a chuckle. “But it was the fire I needed to get in gear and remember that I’m running for something more than just myself.”
When asked how she thinks race weekend will go, Lindsay believes it will be a memorable yet emotional time thinking about Laurel. However, Lindsay wants to stay positive and looks forward to celebrating with her family and fundraising for JAF.
“When you read the patient testimonials and how JAF helps, you can tell the Foundation is making a huge difference,” Lindsay said. “It’s unreal that people are supporting me and my fundraising, but they should know what they’re doing by contributing to JAF is helping patients and families in need. What JAF really does is incredible.”
We can only imagine that if Lindsay had to write an essay today, she would fill many pages with her dedication to helping others. The Foundation is so happy to have Lindsay in the JAF community!
Click HERE to learn more about Lindsay and the 2023 JAF Falmouth team.