BENEFITING: Brigham and Women's Hospital
ORGANIZER: Brigham and Women's Hospital
EVENT: 2017 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 17, 2017
2017 will be my fourth Boston Marathon, and my second with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Stepping Strong Marathon Team. The team was initiated by the Reny family after their daughter Gillian was critically injured at the finish line of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. All of our fundraising will fuel innovative research and clinical programs in trauma healing and limb reconstruction at BWH.
Background on why this means so much to me: I was run over by a car back in 2013. It was a beautiful spring day, 3 weeks after I’d run my first Boston Marathon. That day ended in a terrifying mix of emotions after the bombs exploded on Boylston street, but a few weeks later I was lucky to be getting back to normal and was walking through downtown Boston to go buy a bike for an upcoming triathlon. I stepped into a crosswalk when the pedestrian light signaled, and a split second later a van turned the corner without looking and drove into the side of my body, knocking me down, driving over my leg and snapping my tibia and fibula in half, and also fracturing one of my vertebrae. The details of my treatment and recovery aren't important for the purpose of this story, other than to note that I came out of the hospital a week later with a tibia reconstructed around a titanium rod, and this helped me to be able to walk, and eventually run, as the bone was fusing back together. Given everything that had happened in the span of a few weeks, I also had a mission: I was going to recover to run the 2014 Boston Marathon and cross the finish line. Mentally, it's what carried me through the year of rehab. I then had the honor of running with the Stepping Strong team in 2015. After a year off to allow my legs a little rest, I’m thrilled to be back.
My injury was a neatly contained paper cut compared to most trauma injuries that people endure. Running the Boston Marathon has been one of the most helpful aspects of my recovery, both in terms of having a huge goal to keep me focused in my initial recovery, and still now as I deal with lingering aches and pains. I'm filled with gratitude for my amazing parents, my family, and my friends being there every step of the way. I also recognize that without the exceptional trauma care I received in the ER, during my surgery, and from my physical therapists, I wouldn’t be in the fortunate position of still running marathons. I had run the 2013 marathon as a bucket list item I figured I'd do once. It has now become a core part of my life. Plus, getting the rod into my leg in the first place wasn't the most pleasant experience so I’d like to make sure I get good mileage out of it :)
Fundraising for Stepping Strong inspires me in my personal journey to continue running as a source of strength. Thank you so much for your support. Learn more about the Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Stepping Strong Marathon Team is proud to participate in the Boston Athletic Association’s Official Charity Program.