Gabriel Aljalian Inspires Community
By Gabriella Gage
WATERTOWN — Five years ago, the idea of running a marathon would have seemed a daunting, if not nearly impossible, challenge to Sarkis Chekijian of Belmont. Though an active and athletic individual, he had never particularly enjoyed long-distance running, but he was determined to undertake a new challenge.
Through conversations with friends and colleagues, Chekijian, an account executive in medical sales at Abbott Diagnostics, decided not only to take up running, but to tackle the Boston Marathon in 2010. He found his motivation for his months of training and the long trek itself by running and raising money for a cause — the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s research.
Chekijian, 39, currently training for the 2013 race, previously raised funds for Dana-Farber in 2010 and 2012 as part of the Marathon Challenge. Among the long list of charities to select from, he chose Dana-Farber because at a young age, he had lost both of his grandfathers. “I never had the chance to really get to know them so I felt this connection to Dana-Farber.”