Alumnae/i Feature

Katie Mansour '21 Selected to Run Boston Marathon for Boston Children's Hospital

Tell us about your position in the Department of Critical Care at Boston Children's Hospital.

I am a Research Assistant in the Priebe Lab. Our focus is on the development of new antimicrobials and vaccines to combat and prevent bacterial infections that are particularly harmful to patients with Cystic Fibrosis. 

How did you turn your internship into a full-time position?

I began working in the Priebe Lab as an intern while studying at Simmons University, as a part of my senior capstone requirements. During my year as an intern, our lab was awarded a grant funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which provided us with the support we needed to begin an antimicrobial development project to treat infections caused by the bacterial genus Burkholderia. With the support of the NIH and BCH I was able to continue working with the Priebe full-time after my graduation in May 2021. 

What inspired you to run the Boston Marathon?

It was seeing all the Miles for Miracles team members run in their orange and blue singlets at the 125th Boston Marathon in October of 2021 that initially made me eager to join the team. Once I arrived to work the next day I was convinced by my coworker and friend that we should run the marathon together, representing the Priebe Lab. 

What charity are you running for and why?

We will be running in support of the Every Child Fund. This fund enables the hospital to provide patients and families with a multitude of programs, including therapy dogs that comfort and delight, and music therapy that cheers our patients. Through this fund families will find support for services not covered by insurance, such as free or subsidized temporary housing and meal vouchers. Additionally, gifts made to support this fund help provide funding for the hundreds of clinical and global health research programs at BCH. 

What are some of the challenges you've faced while training?

I would have to say making sure I do not do too much too soon. Pacing myself and slowly increasing my milage is something I definitely have to work on. I am just so excited that I want to hit the ground running but I have to remind myself that consistency is key, and I cannot do too much too quickly. 

What song pumps you up the most while running?

I mainly listen to music that I can dance to while running. So, anything by Little Mix, Dua Lipa and Blackpink. 

What are you most looking forward to on race day?

I am mainly looking forward to seeing all my family and friends cheering me on. I’ve told them that I will need someone at every 5 miles to help me keep on going. 

What have you learned from this experience?

I’ve learned that patience is a virtue, and that progress requires consistency. I have also been reminded of the importance of community. I would not be able to achieve my goal in raising $10,000 for the Every Child Fund if it was not for all of my family, friends, coworkers, the Boston Children’s Hospital Run Club and the Simmons community.

The support that we have received from the Miles for Miracles team is also extremely uplifting and the way the coaches have welcomed us has been incredibly motivating. It truly takes a village, and I could not be more grateful for mine.

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