Boston Marathon

Why I’m Running: ‘Thinking about AJ will inspire me in my training’

Gabriela Hobbs is running to raise funds for Caring for a Cure.

Gabriela is running for Caring for a Cure. Gabriela Hobbs

In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston. If you’re running the marathon, you can share your #WhyImRunningBoston story here.

Name: Gabriela Hobbs
Age: 40
From: Needham

This year, I am thrilled to run the Boston Marathon to raise funds for Caring for a Cure, a nursing-led charitable organization developed by the leukemia and bone marrow transplant nurses at MGH. I have witnessed first-hand how Caring for a Cure helps patients through their journey with cancer.

This year, I’m dedicating my run to AJ, one of my patients. AJ is a 22-year-old man with an aggressive form of acute leukemia. AJ’s life drastically changed in the fall as he was completing military training despite undiagnosed leukemia. AJ was admitted to MGH for his care, and he immediately captured the hearts of everyone caring for him.


AJ was initially treated with intense chemotherapy. Although this treatment made him incredibly sick, he did not go into remission. We enrolled him in a clinical trial resulting in a miraculous remission. These sorts of miracles go beyond the correct medications and are made possible by the emotional and financial support provided by the nurses of Caring for a Cure. In fact, once stable, AJ was able to travel home due to their generosity.

AJ still has a long road ahead, and I know that thinking about him will inspire me through the many miles that lie ahead for me in my training.

Editor’s note: Entry may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.