NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

April 11, 2014

'Running for my best friend'

Concert fundraiser honors man battling leukemia, benefits Dana-Farber team

Two years ago, Newburyport resident Dave Fortier was complaining to his best friend and longtime co-worker, Brad Standley, about how stressed out he was at work.

“He said, ‘Why don’t you go for a run?’” said Fortier, who owns a consulting business on Water Street.

It was an amusing suggestion to someone who was “metaphorically sitting on the couch eating Cheetos,” but Fortier decided to take the advice. He made it two miles.

“He’s like Mr. Fitness,” Fortier said of Standley. “And my version of fitness was skim milk in my coffee instead of half-and-half.”

But Fortier kept running. It got easier, so he signed up for a 5K and then a half-marathon. Realizing that he was dedicated to his new hobby, he decided that he should raise money for a good cause while he was at it.

He called Standley, who is battling chronic myeloid leukemia, and asked him about the National CML Society. Fortier then called the Alabama-based group, which put him in touch with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Shortly after, he found himself signing up to run the 2013 Boston Marathon with Dana-Farber’s team.

“I was actually kind of shocked that they accepted me,” he said.

Committed to raising money for cancer research, Fortier came up with the idea to host a concert. The first Dana-Farber/Brad Standley Night Against Cancer was held last year and featured Standley’s son, Doug, who is a drummer with The Naked Stills and The Jamie Lynn Hart Band. The Boston-based rock/pop bands both have singles playing on local radio stations.

“I’ve loved listening to (Doug’s) music for years,” Fortier said. “To do a concert together just seemed so fitting. I thought it was a huge success.”

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