BOSTON (CBS) -- A recent Boston College graduate is running the Boston Marathon to help a young hockey player recover from a severe injury. Devin Payson will be at the starting line in Hopkinton running for his friend AJ Quetta and Journey Forward, a recovery center in Canton.
AJ Quetta was a Bishop Feehan hockey player when he suffered a severe spinal cord injury in January 2021. Since then, AJ has been hard at work and making progress in his recovery.
"I got hurt really bad and every day I'm just trying to gain it all back," AJ told WBZ-TV. "And every day I get a little bit closer rather than further away. So, I'm just counting my blessings and I'm just fighting."
AJ is now an assistant hockey coach at his alma mater and spends most days at Journey Forward.
"If it wasn't for Journey Forward, I wouldn't even be close to the physical state I am in now. I wouldn't be able to balance for 30 seconds to a minute that I can now," said AJ.
Devin said he has always wanted to run the Boston Marathon but found extra motivation to get out there and do it with AJ and Journey Forward.
"Journey Forward, having a charity team kind of came across my radar, and then it was a complete 180' in my mind," said Devin. "It went from this personal individual physcial bucket list feat to something so much beyond myself."
Devin has been training for months and wants AJ to know that he will be thinking about him every step of the way.
"It's going to be crazy. Crossing that finish line is just the start. I hope to continue the relationship with Journey Forward and supporting AJ's fight," said Devin.
A fight AJ does not intend to quit any time soon.
"It just feels really good to know that someone is going to run 26 miles because of you and because of what I do. So it was really touching," AJ said.
You can watch live coverage of the 126th Boston Marathon on WBZ-TV and CBS Boston.com on Monday, April 18, 2022.
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