Why I’m Running: Brya Capell is running Boston for her sister, Carlie, who was diagnosed with leukemia before her 23rd birthday

"If she can handle the sweat, pain, and struggle that comes with leukemia treatment, I can handle running the marathon for HER."

Brya Capell, left, and Carlie Capell.
Brya Capell, left, and Carlie Capell. –Courtesy

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 on April 16, 2018. Editor’s note: Due to the number of submissions already received, we are no longer accepting entries for this year’s race.

Name: Brya Capell
Age: 25
From: South Boston
Bib #: 26479

This past summer, two weeks before her 23rd birthday, my sister was diagnosed with leukemia. Carlie’s world stopped, and her family and friends dropped everything and rallied in support for her. We needed to do something, but, as anyone who has had a serious illness in their own family knows, you’re left feeling helpless and asking why. We brought her to Brigham and Women’s so the Dana-Farber team could treat her. We made her bed with soft blankets and pillows, brought in the comforts of home, decorated her walls, and showered her with gifts, love, and positive energy. But she still had cancer, which came with the chemotherapy, fevers, pain, and the infections. She was poked, prodded, and unfortunately lost her beautiful red hair. Our hearts have been heavy since that day and sometimes we wonder if we will ever feel light again.

Advertisement

Fast forward to today: It has now been a tough six months of five treatments, and we are are happy to say Carlie has completed her chemo treatments. She has been strong beyond belief while handling the tremendous fear of the leukemia treatments and watching her strength has inspired me to run the Boston Marathon in honor of her. If she can handle the sweat, pain, and struggle that comes with leukemia treatment, I can handle running the marathon for HER.

Check out our entire “Why I’m Running” series.

___

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