As thousands of New Englanders help the Red Sox raise money this week for cancer research through the Jimmy Fund, it is important to note that the 'original' Jimmy was a young boy from Maine. To be exact, from New Sweden, Maine in Aroostook County.

Einar Gustafson was a 12-year-old boy battling cancer in 1948. He was a patient of Dr. Sidney Farber, the founder of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

On May 22nd, 1948, the old Ralph Edwards radio show did a live interview with young Einar in his hospital (They used the name 'Jimmy' to protect his privacy).

At the time, the Boston Braves were Einar's favorite team and many of the players visited him during the show. At the end of the radio show, Edwards asked listeners to send money to help cancer research.

It was the start of something that is now in it's 71st year.

To hear the 1948 broadcast Click Here

When the Braves left Boston the Red Sox stepped up carried on the 'Jimmy Fund' efforts.

Einar survived cancer and remained anonymous until 1998 when he came forward to say, yes, he was the 'Jimmy' of the Jimmy Fund.

Einar died of a stroke in 2001

"Einar's story—that he was cured at a time when so few were and that he led such a full life—is an inspiration to all of us," says Edward J. Benz Jr., MD, President Emeritus. - Jimmy Fund Press Release