(Still) Boston Strong

I can’t believe it’s been a year. We are just a week away from the 2014 Boston Marathon, a historic race that has been changed forever. Last year was my sister’s first time running the Boston Marathon. Her first attempt at running 26.2 miles, and she was doing it for the Dana-Farber Cancer team in honor of our cousin, Mike. Inspiring. 13 of my family members, including her kids, were excitedly waiting to cheer her on as she passed us.

She was stopped just a half mile from the finish, and less than a quarter mile from all of us.

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I’ll never shake the image of people running down the nearby alley, as if we were in a Godzilla movie. The panic in my nephews’ eyes. What happened? We heard it, we felt it, we saw the reaction, but really, WHAT HAPPENED?? Why aren’t our cell phones working? We have to stay together.

I had my camera, but I could never be a photojournalist because I couldn’t manage to take a single photo of what was happening around us, except for these two.

We were lucky, EXTREMELY lucky. We found my sister, we were together, we were safe.

I really don’t need to reiterate how devastating and horrible the aftermath was for the victims, onlookers, first responders, and the entire city of Boston.

It’s always hard to find positivity in such an event, but the way this city transformed was incredible. Everyone knows Bostonians aren’t known for being super friendly. The fundraising, the memorials, the support for the families, for one another, was tremendous. The general “you can scare us, but you won’t break us” attitude shined across the city. These inspirational victims speaking out about overcoming their injuries, triumphing over these tragic and haunting memories, still brings tears to my eyes.

My sister was running for Dana-Farber last year in honor of our cousin Mike, who was undergoing surgeries and treatment for his cancer. Living proof of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, this year he will be crossing the finish line with Steph. They are both running in honor of Mike’s dad, and my godfather, Jake, who was recently diagnosed.

Steph was also honored to be a part of singer/songwriter Michelle Lewis’s music video for “Run, Run, Run” inspired by the Boston Marathon runners. Please watch if you haven't already!

You can see or donate to Steph's Dana-Farber page HERE

The survivors and their families need to know we are still with them. See their stories or donate to the One Fund HERE