An illustration of people running in the Boston Marathon

Dr. Fligor is taking to the streets and taking aim at a cure

Dr. Brian Fligor is one of our expert audiologists (and President!) at Tobias & Battite Hearing Wellness, but his personal interests have led him to all kinds of places outside the walls of our practice. Since 2007, he has been on a personal mission to help combat and raise the public’s awareness of Progeria, a rare genetic disease that drastically shortens the lifespan of those affected. Children with Progeria also develop a progressive hearing loss, due to loss of elasticity of the tissues in the eardrum and middle-ear. As an audiologist, this added to his want to help in any way he could.

Years ago, when Dr. Fligor was director of audiology at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, he was on the Progeria Research team that conducted the first drug trial to treat Progeria. Since then, Dr. Fligor’s commitment to the cause has gone beyond his role in the early trials. He believes that the fight against Progeria is far from over. Raising the bar in 2024, Dr. Fligor has chosen a unique and challenging way to raise funds for the Progeria Research Foundation — he’s running the Boston Marathon.


The Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest yearly marathon. It’s also one of the world’s most well-known and most demanding races. According to the Boston Athletic Association, “The Boston Marathon has distinguished itself as a pinnacle event within the sport of road racing by virtue of its traditions, longevity, and method of gaining entry into the race via qualification.”

Entering its 128th year, the Boston Marathon is one of the world’s six major marathons. The other cities that host world-famous marathons are New York City, Chicago, Berlin, London, and Tokyo. Boston’s marathon is a footrace that starts in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and ends on Boylston Street in Boston. The runners must endure 26 miles and 385 yards of straight and winding roads — some hilly and some flat.

There are 4 challenging hills in the Boston Marathon, including the aptly named Heartbreak Hill. This hill only has a 3.3% incline, a rise of just 91 feet, so it doesn’t seem like it would be all that difficult. However, its position within the series of hills, and within the overall race, makes it very tricky. It rises just outside of Boston and levels off, ultimately heading downward toward Boston’s city center.


A Marathon for a Mission

A marathon requires a heaping helping of training on the part of Dr. Fligor — training that you’ll be able to follow on social media! He typically posts a training update once a week. He’ll post his Apple Watch fitness data so you can cheer him on. There’ll be fun photos of him and his running buddies, and you’ll be able to track his progress in the race, see how far he runs, his pace, and all the other exciting details!

Follow Dr. Fligor on social media here:

It’s not all stats and training though — the Boston Marathon is not merely a physical challenge. For Dr. Fligor it’s symbolic, mirroring the endurance required in the quest for a cure for Progeria. Running 26.2 miles is no small thing, and Dr. Fligor is putting his sneakers where his mouth is, aiming to raise $15,000 for the Progeria Research Foundation.


What Is Progeria and Why Does it Matter?

Officially known as Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome (HGPS), Progeria is a rare genetic disorder that accelerates a premature aging process in children. Afflicting approximately 1 in 20 million live births, it presents unique challenges because it’s so rare. While mental and motor development in affected children is typically normal, the physical effects are profound, leading to abnormal facial features and various health complications.

Children with Progeria face a devastating prognosis, with death likely occurring between the ages of 6 and 20, due most commonly to stroke or heart failure. The Progeria Research Foundation, founded by Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns, aims to accelerate research and improve the quality of life for those battling this condition.


How You Can Make a Difference

Dr. Fligor’s commitment, and the mission of the Progeria Research Foundation, is inspiring, right? The good news is that you can be a part of this crucial journey! Dr. Fligor’s running of the Boston Marathon presents a very easy way to help. If you want to join Dr. Fligor in the fight against Progeria, you can contribute directly to his marathon fundraising page here. You can be a vital part of the collective effort to fund research and improve the lives of those affected by this rare genetic disorder.

In supporting Dr. Brian Fligor’s marathon fundraiser, you’re not just contributing to a charitable cause; you’re participating in a collective effort to extend the lifespans of children affected by Progeria and improve the quality of the years they have. Dr. Fligor’s marathon is not just a run; it’s a sprint toward a future where Progeria is no longer a life sentence, but a condition with viable treatments and, ultimately, a cure. Join the collective stride towards a cure — every step counts.

With your support, Dr. Fligor can make a difference in the lives of these children and their families. Every dollar donated will go towards groundbreaking research, providing medical care, and supporting affected families. Together with Dr. Fligor, YOU can bring hope, and a brighter future to those affected by Progeria.

Thank you for remembering to follow Dr. Fligor’s training and race on social media here:

Please visit his fundraising page here:

Want to help Dr. Fligor fight Progeria?

Visit his fundraising page to learn more.

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