Auburn Businessman Crutches 26.2 Miles In 125th Boston Marathon on Behalf of Make-A-Wish

by | Nov 4, 2021

AUBURN, MA — On Sunday, October 10, Bill Murphy of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation in Auburn successfully completed 26.2 miles on crutches on the track at Worcester State University as a participant in the virtual 125th Boston Marathon® on Team Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

As a team member, Bill is fundraising to help grant wishes for children with critical illnesses through Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. To-date, his 2021 marathon fundraising has yielded nearly $20,000.

Bill Murphy, third from left (with crutches) [Submitted Photo]

Due to a torn quad muscle and subsequent surgery, and with physician approval, Bill crutched 104 laps on the soft surface track, beginning his journey at 4:00 a.m. and finishing in six hours and 17 minutes. A graduate of WSU, it was a unique return to campus for Bill. He was joined throughout the morning by family, friends, and Make-A-Wish supporters. Wish recipient Bethany Parke, 13, from Rochdale, MA, walked the final two miles with Bill, telling him stories about the impact of her 2017 wish experience of visiting her favorite theme park and giving him a boost to finish the marathon. “Being a wish kid and a part of the Make-A-Wish community is a life-changing and magical experience. I’m honored that I get to continue to be a part of it,” says Bethany, who is a Make-A-Wish Youth Ambassador.

Bill’s creative and tenacious approach to fulfilling his commitment as a Team Make-A-Wish member illustrates his loyal support of Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. “The power of a wish gives strength, joy, and hope and also creates memories for the wish child and their families that will last forever,” affirms Bill.

Inspired by his cousin’s wish experience, Bill, who is a branch manager at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation in Auburn, has raised more than $350,000 over the past 15 years for Make-A-Wish, through client appreciation events with the Worcester Sharks, participation in fundraising runs and a 30-mile fundraising hike, and a monthly donation in honor of his loan clients.

“Bill’s perseverance and commitment are incredible and he wouldn’t let an injury stop him from supporting our wish children through the Boston Marathon,” says Sean Holleran, CEO of Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. “He carries the Make-A-Wish mission in his heart and we saw that on the track as he powered through his laps. Bill has helped make wishes come true for more than 30 children since 2006 and his marathon fundraising will help fulfill the wishes of at least two more children with critical illnesses. We’re very thankful to Bill for his generosity in supporting wish children and their families, and to the John Hancock Non-Profit Program for helping to make this opportunity possible.”

Murphy starts his virtual Boston Marathon at 4am at Worcester State. [Submitted Photo]

This is Bill’s second time on Team Make-A-Wish for the Boston Marathon through an entry provided by John Hancock. Each year, John Hancock donates guaranteed entries to select nonprofits, which use these entries to recruit individual runners to raise money for their cause. Last year, John Hancock-sponsored runners raised more than $10.7 million for over 140 organizations.

Donations to Bill’s fundraising can still be made at www.massri.wish.org/marathon and updates on his experience are available on his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/make.a.wish.running.for.wishes.

To learn more about Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island and how you can get involved, visit www.massri.wish.org.