Safe Routes to School pioneer Deb Hubsmith diagnosed with leukemia

Deb Hubsmith on Capitol Hill in 2010.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Deb Hubsmith, the woman who played a vital role in the establishment of Safe Routes to School in the United States, has been diagnosed with acute myeloid luekemia (AML). Hubsmith is currently the founding director of the Safe Routes National Partnership and she has been the leading advocate and lobbyist for Safe Routes for well over a decade.

Here’s more about her health from a message posted on the Partnership’s blog yesterday:

“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…

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.”

That blog post is gathering wishes of support from Deb’s many colleagues and friends throughout the country. If you’d like to send her a card, please address it to: Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center, Attn: Deb Hubsmith, Patient, 99 Montecillo Rd, San Rafael, CA 94903.

I’ve worked with Deb on several stories over the years. She is one of the most dynamic and powerful advocates for cycling I have ever met. This woman can literally stand up to anyone and anything. I know she’ll bring that same determination to getting well and beating this diagnosis. Take care Deb! We’re thinking good thoughts for your recovery up in Portland!

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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10 years ago

I worked with Deb Hubsmith pretty extensively for the Safe Routes to School National Conference in 2008. She’s a dynamic and articulate person. I wish her the best in her treatment.

Alison Hill Graves
Alison Hill Graves
10 years ago

Thinking positive thoughts for you, Deb! You have done so many good things for the health of our country through your determination and persistence. You have been an inspiration and a model of effectiveness for so many of us. Take good care.