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Why We Run

December 10, 2022
Alison Loren, MD, MSCE, and Margaret Kasner, MD

Alison Loren, MD, MSCE, is is Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Margaret Kasner, MD, is Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.

We have been running partners for 10 years. We run four, five, sometimes six days a week; three, four, five, 10 (sometimes 20) miles a day. We have run two marathons and innumerable half-marathons together, and we have run Philadelphia’s iconic Broad Street Run (a 10-miler) and the equally famous ASH Foundation Run/Walk together virtually every year since 2012. We run whether it is 15 or 85 degrees, whether it is still dark and everyone is sleeping, whether in the blistering sunlight when most people are hiding in air conditioning, or whether the path involves trails or city streets.

We have been hematologists for 19 (Alison) and 15 (Margie) years. We take care of patients with acute leukemia and those who receive bone marrow transplants. We have shared patients with each other, but more often, we share our experiences with our patients — how their lives touch ours, their tragedies, and successes. All hematologists know that these patients can experience the lowest of the lows (catastrophic bleeding, organ failure, sepsis) and the highest of the highs — cures when the chances were slim. And all hematologists know that only other hematologists can really appreciate and support us through these triumphs and tragedies.

We have been mothers for 21 (Alison) and 17 (Margie) years. We know each other’s kids (even though they do not know one another) nearly as well as we know our own. We live their milestones, their disappointments, their excitement, and their firsts, together. We support each other through the joys and challenges of parenting while growing academic careers.

We participate in the ASH Foundation Run/Walk because it brings all of these connections together. We love ASH, and we both participate in service to the Society through committee memberships, volunteer activities, and the occasional last-minute pinch-hitting for a talk or program. We appreciate ASH’s support of our careers, its dedication to developing junior faculty and trainees, its scientific rigor, its profound integrity and kindness, its creativity, and its excitement for all things blood.

We love to run (well, most of the time … maybe not so much on the dark, 15-degree days), and we love our friendship. The ASH Foundation Run/Walk distills all these passions into a perfect morning run. So, we invite you to join us as we celebrate our friendship, honor the work we all do as hematologists, and support the best cause in the world — the ASH Foundation.


Alison Loren, MD, MSCE, is Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA. Margie Kasner, MD, MSCE, is Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/ Oncology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

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