April 12, 2024

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Podiatry Resident Scores a Boston Marathon Victory, Even Before Crossing the Finish Line

(BRIGHTON, MA) – Heading into Monday’s 128th Boston Marathon, excitement is building for Brandon Kelemen, DPM, who will run with Tedy’s Team, a charity that raises awareness of stroke and heart disease while supporting survivors on their comeback journey. He and team founder Tedy Bruschi, the former Patriots linebacker and three-time Super Bowl champion, share more than a love of sports: each is a stroke survivor.

Dr. Kelemen is completing his last year of residency in podiatry at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center where he serves as chief resident. His entry into the marathon is a personal victory, even before he crosses the finish line. In 1993, he sustained an in-utero stroke, followed by an isolated seizure moments after he was born. He spent two-and-a-half weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit before going home.

“I had pretty severe speech, hand and upper arm dexterity issues when I was young,” said Dr. Kelemen. “I underwent a lot of speech and occupational therapy. I was able to overcome a lot.”

Dr. Kelemen was inspired to run the Boston Marathon after serving as a volunteer at the medical tent last year. With only 54 spots available on Tedy’s Team, Dr. Kelemen initially was not awarded a charity bib. His fortune shifted, however, when a slot opened following another runner’s injury.

The week after Thanksgiving 2023, he met Bruschi at Gillette Stadium during a team kickoff meeting, and he has hit the ground running ever since. Every Saturday at 8 a.m. since December, Dr. Kelemen has met with his team to train along the marathon route with their assigned running coach, ending each successively longer distance at Fenway Park. 

A soccer player in high school and college, Dr. Kelemen described training for Boston as “brutal” at first and it has also been challenging with his demanding schedule as a medical resident, but he has persevered. A recent 18-miler, alone in the rain while on a trip to New Jersey, was “the hardest thing in the world” but he accomplished it. A 22-mile run last weekend boosted his running confidence even further.

During his youth, Dr. Kelemen said he was very “traumatized” by the medical events he sustained at birth, which also affected his confidence as an adolescent. Now, he is more accepting and more comfortable talking about his abilities. As a podiatrist he spends a lot of time in the operating room and has taught himself how to adapt with suturing using his dominant left hand. One challenge he faces is that many people are not aware of his disability because it is not as easily seen as other physical disabilities another person may have.

“When I’m working in the clinic or put on gloves in the OR, I think I’ve just been able to let it not bother me anymore,” he said.

Dr. Kelemen, who will graduate from his residency in June, is looking forward to taking in his marathon experience. His mother, girlfriend, and best friend will watch along the course in Newton before heading into Boston to see him cross the iconic finish line on Boylston Street. His father, Dr. Robert Kelemen, also a podiatrist, will be waiting to greet him as a volunteer in the medical tent. Countless friends will also cheer him on, and he credits their support, as well as his family’s for sustaining him through this journey.

On Saturday night, Dr. Kelemen will attend an event with Tedy’s Team known as the “Night of Inspiration.” The evening is one he is truly looking forward to as he will hear other survivors' stories and their various journeys. On Sunday, Chelsea, the Kelemen family dog and Instagram famous star (@chillin.with.chelsea), will join the parade of golden retrievers on Boston Common who will page homage to the late Boston Marathon race dog, Spencer. Monday morning will see Dr. Kelemen at the marathon starting line in Ashland.

“I’m so excited for it right now,” he said. “It’s my first one, and it might be my only one. I just want it to be a great all-around experience and enjoy the whole thing.”

About St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, a Boston University Teaching Hospital, offers patients access to some of Boston's most respected physicians and advanced treatments for a full range of medical specialties, including family medicine, cardiovascular care, women and infants' health, cancer care, neurology care, and orthopedics. The 306-bed tertiary care facility is part of Steward Health Care. For more information, visit

About Steward Health Care 

Over a decade ago, Steward Health Care System emerged as a different kind of health care company designed to usher in a new era of wellness. One that provides our patients better, more proactive care at a sustainable cost, our providers unrivaled coordination of care, and our communities greater prosperity and stability. 

As the country’s largest physician-led, minority-owned, integrated health care system, our doctors can be certain that we share their interests and those of their patients. Together we are on a mission to revolutionize the way health care is delivered - creating healthier lives, thriving communities and a better world. 

Based in Dallas, Steward currently operates more than 30 hospitals across Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

For more information, visit