BOSTON (CBS) – Running the Boston Marathon is often a personal goal and the fulfilling of a promise.

In the case of Hilary Hall, running for Dana Farber is about giving something back to the hospital that saves lives and put her to work.

Hall works at Dana Farber, compiling research data on stem cell transplants. For her, life has come full circle after surviving leukemia as a 12-year old girl.

WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes reports.

“It was really hard on my family,” Hall said. “We went from coming back from vacation and figure skating lessons… and a few hours later we found out I was high risk and wouldn’t make it to my next birthday.”

She went through two courses of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

See: Other Boston Marathon Stories

“They tested my family, and my only brother turned out to be a six of six match,” Hall recalled. “So my nine year old brother donated his bone marrow.”

She believes that experience gives her a rare understanding of what Dana Farber’s patients going through the same procedure are dealing with.

“A lot of times my colleagues will ask why it’s happening, why wouldn’t this patient do this. I can offer the patient perspective. I definitely understand.”

Hilary is 27 now and married with a little boy, Gus. A child doctors thought she’d never have because of her cancer treatments. When she heard about the Dana Farber marathon challenge, she knew she was in.

“It’s a perfect way to celebrate 15 years cancer free,” Hall said. “It was just an amazing opportunity to give back and know that you’re making a difference.”

Not every cancer survivor could go to work in a cancer hospital. But it’s clear Hilary is right where she was meant to be.

“I love being there,” she said. “Some people choose to put it in the past and move on, and for me this is just constant therapy. I embrace it.”

Hilary’s brother, David, is now in medical school at Cornell and also working in cancer research.

Her goal is to raise $15-thousand to celebrate her 15 years of being cancer-free.

To donate to Hill’s cause please visit

Comments (2)
  1. Patty Ginsberg says:

    HILLARY: I am friends with Jill Carrerro and a former runner. I am jealous that you are running Boston! Best of luck and remember to just take it one mile at at time!

  2. Janis says:

    At-a-girl…..lemon’s into Lemonaid! You’er brave and a wonderful person to stare down this horrible disease. Brave, a fighter and not going to take it any more! You go girl!
    Warmest regards,
    Janis Tripodi

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