Important Update About Deb Hubsmith

Last week, while visiting the doctor for flu-like symptoms, Safe Routes to School National Partnership director Deb Hubsmith was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This type of leukemia comes on very quickly, and Deb's doctors caught it early and started treatment right away. She will be in and out of the hospital over the next couple of months while going through chemotherapy. Once treated, AML has a good remission and survival rate. Her doctors fully expect remission following her treatment course. 

While Deb takes this time to focus on healing, the organization will be in the capable hands of our staff director team, with continued leadership from People For Bikes and our steering committee. All the work we are doing will continue uninterrupted.

The National Partnership has strong leadership and a solid staff across the country, doing great work to advance Safe Routes to School and healthy community design. Both Deb and the organization will keep moving forward to meet our mission of more walking and bicycling, more access to places to play and more opportunities for physical activity.

Many of you will want to send your well wishes to Deb. Because of her compromised immune system she isn't receiving visitors, can’t get flowers, fruits baskets or anything “fresh” and she also does not want balloons. Cards and get well banners are great to send and can be sent to:

Deb Hubsmith
PO Box 663
Fairfax, CA 94978 

Deb would like everyone not to worry and instead think as positively as she always does. She is focused on getting well and will not be checking email but you can feel free to post comments on this blog and we will be sure she receives your outpouring of support. We will continue to provide updates in the coming weeks and please feel free to reach out to Risa, Margo or Beth listed below with any additional questions. 

Risa Wilkerson, steering committee chair: 

Margo Pedroso, deputy director:

Beth Richards, development and marketing director:


You are in my thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery. May you be surrounded by much love as you go through this journey.

Hello Deb - I'm sending healing thoughts your way for a complete and speedy recovery! Sincerely, Amy Winterfeld

Hello Deb - Thoughts and Prayers for a speedy recovery all the way from Brooklyn New York ..Thank you for all you do for the cycling community ...

Maureen Gaffney
Brooklyn New York

The Live Well Omaha/Activate Omaha team are sending our best wishes, thoughts and prayers. We know that your tireless energy and spirit, along with all of your strength from years of bicycling and walking for transportation will get you through this tough time. Stay strong, Deb!


Just heard about this, via BikePortland of all places. Hoping you're back on your feet and a bicycle very soon!

With love from Portland, OR,

I am a colon cancer survivor and am wishing the best for you during your treatment. I have bicycled across the US twice since my diagnosis of stage 3 in 1995. I survived and you will too! Thanks for all you have done in SRTS, I am also a retired Physical Education teacher.

Deb, you are in my thoughts and prayers! You have the most positive attitude of almost anyone I know. I am convinced that will guide you through this challenge. Stay positive and strong!

Jamie Chriqui, Bridging the Gap, University of Illinois at Chicago

If everyone here in Marin, and throughout the country, suddenly appeared together at Kaiser to wish you well, the hospital wouldn't be large enough to hold them! I'm there, too. I didn't know you could receive cards, so I sent one to Andy and hope he'll bring it to you in time. It celebrates your dancing spirit. A big air hug, from Cindy

Deb, sending you tons of positive, healing vibes from back east. Get well soon!


Deb, you're a total rockstar and I have no doubt that you will heal quickly and fully. SRTS misses you, but you've built a great team that will remain super strong while you focus on recovering. All the best. Simon Dunne


All of us at PedNet wish you a speedy recovery! We will be thinking of you every time we walk or bicycle a child to school here in Columbia, Mo.


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