Friday, January 31, 2014

80 Days to Go...Support Crew

80 days to go until so many of my friends take their place at the starting line of the 118th Boston Marathon. Countless days are behind us since 4/15/2013 when lives were forever changed. I am reading about stories of remarkable strength and recovery.

Celeste Corcoran took her first running steps with two prosthetic legs:

Jeffrey Bauman is getting ready to release his book, "Stronger"

At the top of the book cover it reads, "I saw the bomber. He took my legs. He didn't break me. He only made me."

I know how incredibly fortunate Tom and I were to have escaped to safety after leaving the Mandarin Oriental Hotel where we were preparing to regale the runners on the Spaulding Race for Rehab Team in the suite above Boylston Street across from the Forum where the second bomb went off. Yet like everyone, we were shaken to the core. It's ironic that on the morning of 4/15/13 as we were heading to the Mandarin, Tom and I talked about whether or not he would run in '14 for Spaulding. We had begun to strategize about fund raisers.

We have no choice about what happens in our lives but we always have a choice of how we respond. While a part of me wanted to run Boston again, I knew that was not a path that would make sense for me. Tom decided this was not the year for him to run Boston again. But we knew we had to do something as we moved forward to get ready for this year's Boston Marathon.

I took the first steps on my healing journey at Spaulding Rehab Hospital where I was diagnosed with post polio syndrome in December of 2006 and I know the difference that the new Spaulding has made in the lives of the bombing survivors and their families who were devastated not only emotionally but physically by the bombings. I continue to find my strength in the Aquatics Therapy program. While I may not be running 26.2 miles for Spaulding, I am going the distance with two phenomenal fund raisers that I have put together in support of Karis Antokal and Greg Gordon who are running on the Race for Rehab Team with the theme of Singing Boston Strong:

Karis' Karaoke for a Kause happening on 2/20/14 from 8:00-10:00 pm at the Limelight Stage and Studios at 204 Tremont Street Boston. Suggested minimum donation is $20 and you receive a Take a Chance ticket to be entered to win an autographed Tom Brady Jersey. And don't worry if you're too shy to step up to the mic, we'll have plenty of people singing strong. Cash bar and appetizers. If you are unable to join us, with a minimum donation of $35, we'll enter you in the drawing to be held on 2/20/14. Read Karis' story on her fund raising page and make your donation today. Silent Auction Items include autographed books by Bob and Lee Woodruff, A Cape Getaway Weekend, Celtics and Red Sox Tickets, Gift certificates to Stapleton Floral Design and Marathon Sports.

An Evening of A Cappella to Benefit Spaulding Rehab happening on 4/4/14 at Boston University. Terpsichore, Boston University's premier all female a cappella group will be your host from 7:00-9:00 pm at Sleeper Auditorium located at 871 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA. The evening features performances by Terpsichore, the BU Dear Abbeys, BU's In Achord and Bostonality, a post collegiate a cappella group. Minimum suggested donation is $10. Make your donation to Greg Gordon's fund raising page and in the comments section note that it is for the benefit concert.

This Sunday, and on March 9th, Tom and I will be hosting a water stop for L Street Running Club offering moral support as the runners put in their miles on their road to the Boston Marathon.

With 80 days to go...we are all healing and moving forward and finding ways to be a part of the day. As for me? I am honored and proud to be a part of the support crew.

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