BOSTON (WHDH) - A woman training to run the Boston Marathon this year is not even a year removed from undergoing brain surgery — and the care she received from a Boston hospital during that time is what’s driving her to run, she said.

Doctors first found a lesion on Emily Dugan’s brain during high school, and when the now-24-year-old saw her headaches develop into seizures, doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital decided they needed to operate. But when COVID-19 protocols last November kept Dugan’s family from supporting her in the hospital, the medical staff stepped up.

“I remember I was in the basement of the hospital and one of the nurses got down and could see I was nervous, [and she said] ‘I am going to be the mom figure during this,” Dugan recalled. “The comfort that I felt, there without having my mom there, is something I honestly can’t repay them for … all the nurses and staff there were phenomenal.”

A week after surgery, Dugan decided she would run the marathon on behalf of the Brigham’s staff and raise funds for the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation marathon team, which helps people injured in traumatic events. Dugan said the care she received at the hospital has made it possible for her to run.

“As of last September I had never run more than 5 miles in my life … I never thought that a year after getting a 12-hour brain surgery I would be training for the Boston Marathon,” Dugan said.

To donate to Stepping Strong, visit their website.

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