Couple running Boston Marathon® together to defy cancer

Alfonso Carrillo and Stephany Garza, originally from Guatemala, have been married for six years. This year, they’re taking things to the next level by embarking on their first marathon together: the Boston Marathon® on April 18, as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) team.

Alfonso never thought a marathon was in his future. “For the longest time, I thought those who ran the marathon were from another planet,” he recalls with a smile. “I never understood what kept them going and how they pushed through all 26 miles, until a conversation with a dear friend helped me look at this as an opportunity to give back to my community, while challenging myself both mentally and physically.”

A longtime runner and retired pentathlete, who represented Guatemala internationally from 2003 to 2013, Stephany has been working for the last 12 years to convince Alfonso to run a marathon with her and is excited the Dana-Farber cause finally convinced him to join her on this journey. She was motivated to join the DFMC team after losing someone to breast cancer 18 years ago, who had been like a mother to her.  “She was very special to me and bravely underwent her cancer treatment,” Stephany shares. “It is a privilege to run for her, as well as patients around the world who have faced cancer. They inspire me to be a better version of myself.”

Being a part of the DFMC community has been fulfilling for Alfonso and Stephany because they know that they are contributing to the greater good. They are proud to know that each mile they run and dollar they raise is working to help bring Dana-Farber one step closer to achieving its lifesaving mission and finding cures for cancer. “We are inspired by those who face and fight cancer at each stage, as well as the amazing team of doctors, scientists, clinicians, nurses, and supporting staff at Dana-Farber who have selflessly united to defy cancer,” the couple shares. “We hope to honor this fearless and relentless team, as well as their patients and families, at every mile when we run the Boston Marathon in April.”

Support runners like Alfonso and Stephany 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