Nursing student runs Boston Marathon ‘for Krystle’

GSN’s Wiberg raising funds for UMass Boston scholarship honoring bombing victim Krystle Campbell

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

April 17, 2014
Hannah Wiberg and Michelle Epstein
GSN students Hannah Wiberg (left) and Michelle Epstein sell "Run for Krystle" T-shirts to raise funds for a scholarship fund in honor of Boston Marathon bombing victim Krystle Campbell. Wiberg will run the 2014 Marathon in memory of Campbell.

It didn’t matter that she never intended to run a marathon. When longtime triathlete Hannah Wiberg, RN, was invited to join the “Run for Krystle” UMass marathon team, she didn’t hesitate.

“I couldn’t think of a better reason to change my mind,” said Wiberg, a student at UMass Worcester’s Graduate School of Nursing (GSN). “When someone asks you to run for one of the victims of the bombings, you don’t say no.”

Wiberg was one of 15 team members who ran in the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21, to raise funds for the Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund. Established by University of Massachusetts Trustee Richard P. Campbell, JD, (no relation to Krystle), the scholarship is dedicated to the former UMass Boston student who was killed in the April 2013 bombings. The funds will support other young women who are, as was Krystle, interested in pursuing careers in business at UMass Boston and other UMass campuses.

A 2006 graduate of West Boylston High School and 2009 graduate of Ithaca College, Wiberg came to UMass Worcester to follow in the footsteps of her older sister, who was a member of the inaugural class of the GSN’s Graduate Entry Pathway (GEP). She will receive her Master of Nursing degree in the family nurse practitioner track in 2015, and then plans to pursue a post-master’s certificate in emergency care.

Already an experienced emergency medical technician, Wiberg likes the fast pace of emergency care and the difference it can make—as it did last year in Boston.

“After the bombings, volunteers were effective in saving lives because they acted so quickly and professionally,” she said.

Wiberg was inspired further by two nurses who were the guest speakers at the induction ceremony she recently attended as a new member of the Iota Phi Chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Both volunteers in the Boston Marathon medical tent last year, each spoke about why volunteering was important to them and how the experience has since shaped their nursing careers.

“They were so inspiring!” said Wiberg “The second speaker talked of how it was her first time volunteering, that she was terrified, but as a nurse you do what you have to and want to do more than you actually can.” After running the Boston Marathon, Wiberg will participate in a Half Iron Man triathlon in June.  She will also be a first-time volunteer nurse in the medical tent at the Lake Placid Triathlon in August.

Wiberg was honored to attend a ceremony held at UMass Boston last November to announce the scholarship fund. There she met Trustee Campbell, Krystle’s family and other runners, forging a personal connection for fundraising efforts. “It was good to meet them and talk about Krystle and get a sense of who she was,” said Wiberg.

“I immediately nominated my good friend Hannah because of her true love for athleticism,” said Wiberg’s GSN classmate Michelle Epstein, RN, who is involved with the initiative as vice president of UMass Worcester’s Graduate School of Nursing Organization. “I know she will represent UMass with honor and pride next Monday and I am truly honored to help raise money for her funding.”

Donations can be made at Wiberg’s fundraising page