Danvers Family Walking to Remember

LaHaye Family

 The LaHaye family will be walking to remember Mike LaHaye at the Lahey 5K Cancer Walk & Run on June 25.  

Beverly, MA (May 18, 2016) – It was Christmas Eve 2014 when Mike LaHaye received the call.

The longtime Danvers resident had been diagnosed with lung cancer seven months earlier, but it was Dec. 24 when his phone rang. Mike had on his patented red vest – he wore it every year around the holidays. The LaHaye family had all congregated in Gloucester for the holiday.

“Christmas Eve is our big day,” said Shannon Chiachiaretta, Mike’s daughter. “We get all dressed up and see our entire extended family.”

The call came early in the afternoon. It was his Beverly Hospital pulmonologist – Dr. Fares Mouchantaf.

“He just wanted to check in,” said Sharon LaHaye, Mike’s wife. “He wanted to know how he was doing.

Mike had been receiving his treatment at Beverly Hospital, but it’s that one call the LaHaye family won’t soon forget.

“He has family. This is Christmas Eve for him too, but he wanted to check-in with me,” Sharon recalled Mike saying. “We were just so touched that he would take the time to call us.”

And as Sharon pointed out, this was more of a social call than a medical one. 

“They didn’t talk about his treatment or anything, just how he was doing. How his family is doing,” Sharon said.

Mike passed away 10 months later in Oct. 2015. To thank the staff for the care they provided her husband, Sharon baked treats for the unit. 

“Everyone came out of the office to see us,” Shannon said. “We all had tears in our eyes. The nurses even came to the wake. My dad always looked forward to the treatment because of the staff in the cancer center. Who describes their cancer treatment as fun?”

“Dad was all about spending time with family, which after months of treatment, seemed to extend to his caregivers at Beverly Hospital,” said Mike’s son, Ryan LaHaye. 

To honor Mike, his family will be participating in the Lahey Health 5K Cancer Walk & Run.

“We thought this would be a nice tribute to my dad and his caregivers,” Shannon said. “We wanted to do something to make sure others have as good an experience as we did.” 

According to Shannon, this would also be an opportunity for the family to gather once a year and reminisce about her father, especially to help his four young grandchildren who enjoyed “fishing” on Mike’s iPad, remember “Papa”.

“It was so important for him to connect with his grandchildren and participating in this cancer walk is the perfect opportunity for them to continue connecting with him,” Shannon said. 

The Lahey 5K Cancer Walk & Run will take place on Saturday, June 25 at 8 a.m. at Burlington High School. For more information or to sign up, please visit:  http://www.laheyhealth5k.org/ 

About Lahey Health

Lahey Health is what's next in healthcare, providing a full continuum of integrated health services close to where you live or work. It is comprised of nationally recognized, award-winning hospitals—including an academic hospital and medical center, and community hospitals—primary care providers, specialist physicians, behavioral health services, post-acute programs such as home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, and senior care resources located throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. 

Lahey Health offers nearly 1,000 locally based physicians providing clinical excellence and an exceptional patient experience in adult and pediatric primary care and every medical specialty, including kidney and liver transplantation; neurosurgery, cancer, cardiovascular and orthopedic medical and surgical care; local emergency and trauma care; urological surgery; chronic disease prevention and health management; and pediatric emergency, newborn and inpatient care provided in collaboration with Boston Children's Hospital physicians. 

Lahey Health includes Lahey Hospital & Medical Center—a teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine—and Lahey Clinic physician group with practices in Burlington, Peabody and other locations throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire; Beverly Hospital; Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Mass.; Winchester Hospital; Lahey Health Senior Care and Lahey Health Behavioral Services as well as more than 30 primary care physician practices and multiple outpatient and satellite specialty care facilities. 

Together, we are making innovative, integrated healthcare more personal and more accessible. For more information, visit LaheyHealth.org and its member websites Lahey Hospital & Medical CenterBeverly Hospital, Winchester Hospital, and Lahey Health Behavioral Services


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