Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Listen To The Original 1948 Radio Broadcast That Launched The Jimmy Fund

'Jimmy' of The Jimmy Fund
As we get ready for this year's WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon (today and tomorrow), it's a good time to revisit the origins of this great charity. Seventy years ago, a young 12-year-old boy from Maine was battling cancer under the care of legendary physician Dr. Sidney FarberEinar Gustafson, known only as 'Jimmy' to the public, was a huge fan of the Boston Braves. On May 22, 1948, the national radio program "Truth or Consequences", hosted by Ralph Edwards, hooked up with Jimmy in his room at Boston Children's Hospital. Jimmy had longed for a TV to watch his beloved Braves. During the broadcast, Edwards spoke to the young cancer patient from his Hollywood studio as Braves players (like Johnny Sain, Earl Torgeson, Phil Masi, and manager Billy Southworth) crowded into Jimmy's hospital room. After the broadcast, more than $200,000 was raised around the country—and The Jimmy Fund was born. Gustafson lived in anonymity until 1998—the 50th anniversary of the broadcast. Healthy and living in Maine, he was designated as an Honorary Chairman of The Jimmy Fund until his death in 2001 at the age of 65. You can hear the original 1948 radio broadcast from Jimmy's room HERE.