Skip to contents
In This Issue:
2007 Marathon a Milestone for Team Brigham Runner
In 2000, Danalyn Adams became the first female heart transplant recipient to complete a marathon in the U.S. when she joined Team Brigham that year. This year, Adams rejoins Team Brigham to mark a milestone: the 10-year anniversary of her heart transplant at BWH in 1997.
“I’ve done things a lot of people wouldn’t deem possible with a heart transplant,” said Adams, a New Hampshire resident who now works as a tissue clinical coordinator for the New England Organ Bank. “I just want to feel good and run as much as I can.”
Adams is in good company on Team Brigham 2007, as her BWH nurse practitioner Debbie Page is a first-time member. Page, who previously worked as a Cardiac Surgery staff nurse, cared for Adams pre and post transplant, and now helps her continue to live a healthy life as her nurse practitioner.
“She’s remarkable,” Page said of Adams. “She forges on with life, embraces it and takes all she can.”
Adams formed strong bonds with her care teams at the Brigham. Elizabeth Taylor, RN, one of the nurses who cared for Adams after her transplant, also ran the 2000 Boston Marathon with Team Brigham. After Taylor finished the race, she went back to run the last mile with Adams.
“Right after her transplant, after we took her breathing tube out, she turned to me and asked, ‘Do you think I’ll be able to do a marathon?’” Taylor recalled. “I’ll never forget that.”
Today, Adams is an inspiring role model.
“She’s in phenomenal shape and it makes me so proud to take care of her,” said Page, an avid runner who is gearing up for her first marathon. “She really takes ownership of her health.”
Adams doesn’t take her health or her heart for granted. She was 25 when she received the life-saving transplant at BWH under the care of David Adams, MD.
“I still to this day don’t think of my heart as my own,” she said. “When I feel my heart beat as I’m doing something athletic, I think of my donor and am thankful to her family and to the Brigham.”
In the years since her transplant, Adams has run the Boston Marathon twice, the Cape Cod Marathon as part of a relay team, a sprint triathlon and several 5K and 10K races. In 2005, she participated in the World Transplant Games, winning gold medals and breaking world records in both the 100- and 200-meter sprints.
She looks forward to the Boston Marathon April 16 and is thrilled to run as part of Team Brigham once again.
“I wouldn’t think of running for another team,” Adams said. “I will always hold a special place in my heart for the Brigham.”