The building's steel skeleton is now a brightly colored, seven-story monument to scores of children receiving treatment at the clinic - Lia, Alex, and Sam; Taylor, Izzy, and Danny. For the young cancer patients, who press their noses to the glass to watch new names added every day, the steel and spray-paint tribute has given them a few moments of joy and a towering symbol of hope.
A similar project was carried out in 1996 when the Smith Research Laboratories were built. A movie was made at that time to raise money for The Jimmy Fund.
Yesterday, crawling on their stomachs in the bitter cold and whipping winds, the ironworkers looked down at the latest batch of names posted in the walkway window. Looking up at them were Kristen and her sisters, Cathryn, 5, and Hannah, 3, who have been accompanying her to chemotherapy. They pointed as the ironworkers painted the girls' names onto the side of a 4-ton I-beam and hoisted it on to the seventh floor.
"She'll always be a piece of this building, which is a good feeling to have," Elizabeth Hoenshell said, holding Kristen. "They don't have to do this, the guys. They could just do their job and do a good job at it and give us a building that we can get treatment at, but they go the extra step and that's huge."
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See a video from the earlier project, but have your hankie ready. Link
(image credit: David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)