Our staff do truly incredible work serving our patients and their loved ones each day—we call them “champions” for a reason! We’re no strangers to their strength and resilience, and we love seeing them accomplish their goals outside of work. Faith Hospice RN Case Manager Amber Powell checked one off her list by running the Boston Marathon this year. She shares her experience with us below.
“ Boston…. You chewed me up and spit me out today. This run taught me more about myself than any other run in my entire life. Coming into this, I knew it likely wouldn’t be a PR due to battling an injury for the last 5 weeks and being unable to run for the last two weeks, but I certainly didn’t expect this. Sometimes, God's plans are bigger than our own.
I started with a teammate, and we knew right away that the heat would not be good. From the start, I wasn’t feeling well. All weekend, I’ve been anxious and anticipating this morning. My resting heart rate was 102 on the bus before the start (I’m usually 45-50). Around mile 8, I started to feel goosebumps and knew my body was overheating. I kept pushing, hoping my gels and salt tabs would do the trick. At the halfway point, I had to stop at the med tent. I was lightheaded and really not doing well. My heart rate was up over 180. I was working hard, and I was HOT. They put some ice on my neck and checked my vitals. I took some more liquids and decided to try to keep going. I only made it about 100m, and I felt such despair as I made my way to the side of the road to sit and call my husband, Brett. I was sobbing. It was over. I couldn’t do it.
Just then, two random strangers there spectating came alongside me and helped me to some shade. They listened as I sobbed. They gave me some electrolyte tabs, talked through the options, gave me so much encouragement, and asked me about my bracelet that says “Matthew 5:16.” I repeated the verse I had long since memorized: “Let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.” These ladies didn’t know me. They didn’t even know each other. But they saw a runner in need, desperate to keep going, and they jumped into action. That’s what I LOVE about my running community. They took a picture of my bib and told me they would track me and watch me finish.


“...I certainly didn’t expect this. Sometimes God’s plans are bigger than our own.”

I started off again to finish the 2nd half of this race. My goals switched from “run a decent time” to “let’s finish this thing and just keep running, no matter how slow.” I felt a huge shift in my mood and could press on. I fully absorbed the crowds, high-fiving the college students, fist-bumping random strangers, yelling, and rocking out to some good music.
Right on Hereford. Then there was my family. I heard my dad’s LOUD yell like I’ve heard so many times before. I looked behind me, thinking I missed them. Nope, I rounded the corner, and there they were. I started sobbing (minus the tears because I was so dehydrated). Left on Boylston. And then, the most amazing finish line I’ve ever been a part of crossing. There were so many random strangers cheering their heads off. THIS is what it’s about. I made it. It was ugly. It was 50 minutes slower than my best. But I did it. I wanted to give up, but I didn’t.
I cannot thank everyone enough for the outpouring of love and support through this journey—for all the amazing calls, texts, and messages. I have felt more love this week than I probably ever have, especially from my husband. He made sure this trip to Boston was magical and everything I’d dreamed of, including upgrading me to first class on the way here. He always supports my crazy goals, and I am so lucky.  I was also very fortunate to have my mom and dad make the trip with us, who have supported me since I was 11. And lastly, to Step: thank you for flying all the way out here to support me and spend this first Boston experience with me!
I wish I could have given you a better show, but this is what my body had today, and God's plan is always bigger ❤️”