boston_strong_ribbons While great stories can come from any place or time, exceptional stories happen when a remarkable person is thrust into extraordinary circumstances.

In October 2012, Jarrett Barrios, CEO of Red Cross of Eastern MA, decided to train for his first marathon. That race would be the tragic 2013 Boston Marathon, and Jarrett would be stopped at mile 25.8. This is Jarrett's story of that day.

Jarrett's Incredible Story

Jarrett's knack for making obstacles into opportunities is no less than remarkable. Born in 1969 to Cuban-American parents - a social worker and a carpenter - he entered Harvard at 17, graduated with high honors at 20, earned a Georgetown Law degree, and was first elected to the Massachusetts legislature at 29 where he served until 2007. The MA State Senate's first Latino and first openly gay man, he's also been an Eisenhower Fellow, founded three nonprofits, and was President of GLAAD and the MA Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation. Currently, Jarrett is CEO of the Red Cross of Eastern MA.

What follows in this video is his deeply personal, emotional account of this national tragedy. Jarrett shares a stunning first-hand account of his moments as an exhausted marathoner, a shocked and frightened father, and the man in charge of the largest Massachusetts Red Cross emergency response since the blizzard of 1978.

Jarrett's Slides:




A Tale in Graphics:

Jarrett Barrios Bold Talk Graphic Recording

 Graphic recording by Kingman Ink. 


Jarrett Barrios is CEO, Red Cross of Eastern MA. You can follow him on Twitter at @JarrettBarrios.

INBOUND 2013, attended by over 5,500 inbound marketers, entrepreneurs, and executives, included an INBOUND: Bold Talks experimental storytelling stage. We will publish each talk right here in the Opinion section until all 36 are online.


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Originally published Oct 11, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated January 18 2023