Henry's Story 2006

I had the unique misfortune to work with Tom and Ray for many years as a Car Talk Associate Producer. Sure, they are funny on the radio. But day in and day out? Their incessant jokes (Saran Wrap on the toilet seat, anyone?) and "cute" nicknames for me (Imelda - as in, Marcos. So I bought a few dozen pairs of shoes. Who doesn't?) nearly drove me crazy. Thankfully, countless sessions of therapy have undone the damage.

One good thing I did learn from Tom and Ray, however, is generosity. I've seen, first hand, how Tom and Ray would do anything to help out someone in need.

A Letter from Catherine & Henry

Sam's Letter to Car Talk

Now, I'm hoping you'll do the same.

After finally coming to my senses and leaving Car Talk, I realized I missed the chaos. So, my husband Josh and I had a kid - a beautiful son, Henry.

Unfortunately, Henry was diagnosed with cancer the day before he was born. For any of you out there who have dealt with cancer I don't need to tell you that cancer sucks. Big time. The doctors told us that the tumor in Henry's spine was growing so rapidly that he had to begin chemotherapy immediately. That meant delivering him early, a month before his due date.

Henry began chemo when he was just one day old.

We were incredibly fortunate to live near one of the best childhood cancer centers in the country, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital Boston. Henry had an amazing team of doctors and nurses who guided us through the months of chemotherapy, the hospital stays, the infections and blood transfusions, and all the scary stuff that goes along with cancer. But there was one doctor who literally saved Henry's life, his oncologist, Dr. Sam Blackman.

Sam isn't just any ordinary doctor. He is the Superman of doctors. He cared for Henry as if he was his own son. Not only is he incredibly smart, he's also one of the most passionate people I've ever met. He is a man on a mission to wipe out childhood cancers.

Sadly, Sam is lacking in brains when it comes to cars. In fact, in a remarkable coincidence, Sam was also the topic of a call to Car Talk not too long ago. His wife, Julie, called Tom and Ray. Why? Because Sam tends to forget to set the parking brake. In fact, he once parked their VW Passat in the garage, got out, shut the door, and left the car in neutral. The result? The car rolled down the driveway, across several lanes of traffic, and careened off an embankment. Smooth move, Sam.

Your Turn

Thankfully for all of us, Sam is now carless. In fact, he's taken to riding his bike.

That's where you come in. This August, Sam is taking on a serious challenge: a bike race across our fair state to raise money to fight childhood cancer. In usual Sam fashion, he's doing it big: his goal is to raise $100,000.

Today, my son Henry is approaching his first birthday. It's a birthday we weren't sure we'd ever celebrate. But thanks to people like Sam and the research done at Dana Farber and Children's Hospital Boston, Henry is cancer-free.

Sadly, not all kids have been as lucky as Henry. There is still so much to learn about cancer. Sam's bike ride is one step to raise the funds necessary to fight and prevent the disease.

My husband, Josh, and I hope you'll check out Sam's website where you can read more about Henry and some of Sam's other amazing patients.

And we hope you can support Sam's effort to raise $100,000.

It just takes a little generosity to make a big difference.

With Gratitude,


Help Us Support Sam's Ride

Hear Julie's call to Car Talk

See more photos of Sam and Henry

Email Sam

Email Catherine

Email Tom and Ray