Dana-Farber runner feels privileged to be able to run again

Kim Alley was thrilled to be accepted to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) team for what she thought would be her “one and only” Boston Marathon® in October 2021. But after successfully completing 26.2 miles in October, Kim quickly realized her journey with the Dana-Farber team was far from over. She soon started her training and fundraising efforts with the DFMC team for the 2022 Boston Marathon—a quick six-month turnaround from her last race.

Kim was inspired to join the DFMC team after seeing how cancer has devastated the lives of so many individuals and families in her community. She was especially motivated to fundraise with her sons, Rye and Liam, who were eager to honor two friends who had been directly impacted by cancer. The mother of her older son’s fraternity brother was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and passed away in just 22 short days. Her younger son’s lacrosse teammate at Union College also passed away suddenly at 17 from undiagnosed leukemia.

“I’ve lost grandparents, aunts, friends, and even my dog Boomer to cancer,” says Kim. “My children have lost their friends and friends’ parents to cancer. My DFMC teammates have lost their children, parents, and loved ones. We all have watched the survivors fight. We need cures, and I will keep fundraising until we have them.”

Kim is also motivated by the fellow runners she has met along the way and during the 2021 race, who are all dedicated to giving back. Her friend Courtney, who competed in many races with Kim over the years, played a critical role in inspiring Kim to dedicate her runs to charities like Dana-Farber. Courtney was aiming to run the Boston Marathon for the first time in 2022, but was tragically killed in an accident just five days after Kim’s 2021 race. This news gave Kim even more motivation to get back on the course this April to pay tribute to her dear friend and to continue to help Dana-Farber achieve its lifesaving mission to prevent, treat, and defy cancer.

“I was reminded once again just how fragile life is and how privileged I am to be ABLE to run. Every day is a gift.” Kim adds that a chance Christmas encounter with the family of the Union lacrosse player she ran in honor of made her a “lifer” for the cause. Their families unexpectedly met skydiving in the Florida Keys. “There are no coincidences,” according to Kim. “This is why I run for Dana-Farber.”

Support runners like Kim and make a donation to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team today. Your donation will support The Dana-Farber Campaign, our ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign will accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise. As a community, we have the power to create a more hopeful, cancer-free future—in Boston and around the world. Together, we can defy cancer at every turn. Learn more about The Dana-Farber Campaign and how you can get involved at DefyCancer.org.