What would you like people to know about how you are doing or feeling now?
It's been 5 years now and I finally feel like I am thriving again! It has been a long and tough journey of healing and I am so grateful to be fully recovered now! I could not have done it alone...I have been blessed to be surrounded by such amazing family, friends, doctors and practitioners who have stood by my side through the most challenging of days to the most rewarding of days (i.e. being able to walk normally again; finally being pain free after 3 years and completing the 2017 Boston Marathon, just to name a few). I would not be where I am today without each and every one of them! I am humbled by their steadfast commitment and determination to help me reach my goal of being fully healed! They never gave up on me even though there were some days I wanted to give up because the pain was simply to much too bear. Words cannot fully describe how grateful and truly blessed I am to be surrounded by such extraordinary group of women and men!
What would you like to say to the Greater Boston community in regards to the support you received following April 15, 2013?
Words cannot adequately express my sincere and deepest gratitude for the countless people who supported the survivors, victims and their families in the days, weeks, months and years following the bombings. Your positive thoughts, healing prayers along with your kind words and encouragement helped me rise above the fear and anger I felt immediately following the bombings. I will forever be grateful for the outpouring of love that not only came from the Boston Strong community, but from all over the world! It is love that heals!
Over the past few years, have you witnessed any acts of kindness on One Boston Day that touched you? If so, what were they and why did you find them meaningful?
I love that our amazing community has triumphed and rallied together to make One Boston Day a day of remembering, helping others, giving back, spreading kindness and cherishing what is most important to us all...peace, love and happiness!
During your recovery, have there been any specific moments that were particularly poignant or meaningful to you?
As someone who has been an overachiever most of my life...for me some of the most poignant moments were being able to breath, eat, sleep and walk normally again. Along with being able to play with my nieces and sit comfortably in a restaurant no longer fearing if a bomb would go off. I no longer take for granted the most simplest, yet precious elements of life.
Are there particular activities or charitable efforts in which you have participated that you’ve found to be especially inspiring or restorative?
I have enjoyed spending quality time with my survivor friends and family volunteering at various activities, such as cleaning up city streets for the Martin Richard Foundation, helping to build playgrounds in memory of those who tragically lost their lives, preparing backpacks for children less fortunate, along with raising over $30,000 for local non-profit organizations who make a real and profound difference in the lives of others.
Helping to uplift a community and/or other people less fortunate than you, in my opinion, is a vital component to one's own healing and recovery!
I am currently working on raising awareness and funds for k9forwarriors.org, which helps veterans returning from war with PTSD to be paired with a beautifully trained service dog. In fact, I am Executive Producer of a documentary, which will premiere in June 2018 that illustrates the importance of this amazing program that literally saves lives! If you are interested in learning more about K9forWarriors, please visit the links below.