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The Boathouse arrow right Our Common Thread

Our Common Thread

October 8, 2021

Mike’s 20-min “Our Common Thread” Drive is available on-demand beginning on Tuesday, October 12th.

The Dostal family’s lives were turned upside down in 2018 when Hydrow Athlete Mike’s wife, Meg Dostal, was diagnosed with Oligodendroglioma, a rare and terminal brain cancer. Following diagnosis, Meg sought treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), one of the world’s leading cancer research and treatment centers. 

Through it all, Meg, Mike and the entire Dostal family have maintained a positive outlook and adopted a new perspective: we all have our struggles and we all face obstacles. And rather than feeling alone, this common thread of persistence has the power to bring us together. 

In 2018, the Dostals founded Our Common Thread, a safe space for individuals to share their stories of triumph and perseverance. The organization connects, empowers, and supports those going through tough times, and welcomes anyone facing adversity or challenges to share their story and connect with others. 

Researchers at MGH are working to identify a treatment for patients with Oligodendroglioma and the Dostal Family is determined to help. They have collectively organized events, rode hundreds of miles, and rowed many meters in order to raise money with the hope that researchers will find a cure. 

Later this month, Mike will compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR) on behalf of MGH to continue raising funds for the organization’s life-saving research. This past Saturday, October 2, Mike  dedicated his 20-minute live row to Meg, taking the opportunity to share their story with the Hydrow community. And thanks to the incredible efforts of a number of member groups on Facebook, the Hydrow community showed up in full force. 

“Three years ago, my wife was diagnosed with brain cancer,” Mike said as he started the row, his boat decorated for MGH. “I am doing this to fundraise for Mass General Hospital brain cancer research. Not one part of me is anything but 100% thankful. This is the best of Hydrow. This is the best of our community.” 

As Mike rowed down the Charles River, three very special people made their Hydrow on-camera debut. As he approached the Weeks Footbridge, Mike was greeted by Meg and their children, Eva and Luke, holding a sign to cheer on the Hydrow community. 

Incredibly, the Hydrow community did more than just show up to row — together, they have helped raise nearly $35,000 in donations, with more donations rolling in by the day. 

“The messages I’ve received have been absolutely amazing,” says Mike. “I keep finding myself nearly at a loss for words. To those who have given their time, donated, offered support or shared stories of their own — we’re so grateful to have you in our lives and on our team.” 

This exceptional 20-minute live row was not only an emotional and inspirational glimpse into the lives of the Dostal Family — it was also a powerful reminder of how strong and supportive this community truly is.

Be sure to check out Mike’s 20-min “Our Common Thread” Drive, available on-demand beginning on Tuesday, October 12th.

Donate to Our Common Thread to support funding at Massachusetts General Hospital for rare brain cancer research. Want to learn more? Read on about Mike’s story.

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