We recently had the opportunity to talk with Dan, a Boston resident who was at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Dan spent his childhood at the Marathon with his father who works for the event’s presenting sponsor, John Hancock. Not only did Dan share his experiences from the day of the bombing, but he also shared a story of inspiration that puts this tragedy into perspective for all of those affected. This is his story:
Dan and James grew up 1 mile from the starting point of the Boston Marathon. Needless to say, the iconic race seeped through their veins since childhood. The events of April 15, 2013 and their shared experiences touched Dan in a deep and profound way.
James and I have been life-long friends. Unfortunately, during the summer of our junior years of college, James was involved in a terrible accident, leaving his leg amputated below the knee. When I visited James in the hospital, I told him that I was going to run that race for him. After graduation, we agreed that we would run the Boston Marathon together. We trained for a year, raising over $18,000 for Limbs for Life in the process. We were so honored to run for them and know the money we raised was enough for 7 people to receive a prosthetic.
April 20th, 2011 rolled around and there we were, about to start the mecca of all marathons, the Holy Grail, Boston. Our hard work and dedication was about to come to fruition. We had our Limbs for Life t-shirts on and were ready to go. 4 hours and 45 minutes later, we had the medals draped over our necks, our mothers crying, our friends cheering. We had completed the marathon. Let me remind you, James completed this marathon…with a prosthetic…a year and half after his accident. It was remarkable!
Dan reflects on the Boston Marathon Bombing:
I was at the Finish Line on April 15, 2013. The bombs went off and the confusion was paramount. I can’t truly remember everything because it feels like that moment just stood still. During the next week, I thought a lot about the Boston Marathon I ran with James.
When James lost his leg in college, I thought his life was over. However, he has proven that not only is his life not over, but it’s bigger, it’s better and it’s filled with endless possibilities. There is nothing he can’t do. It’s not because he has some all-star prosthetic either. It’s because he believes, it’s because his heart is twice the size of a normal human’s…and that’s what I want these survivors to know. James was just an ordinary kid who was involved in an unfortunate event, just like them. And although it may be hard for them to see, they’re going to be great, and they’re going to live the most amazing lives—lives they would never even dream possible before that infamous Monday afternoon.
Limbs for Life provides prosthetic care for those who cannot afford it. If you would like to help amputees who need assistance paying for care, you can donate directly to Limbs for Life. Click HERE to make a donation and help others in need.
Like us on FACEBOOK
Follow us on TWITTER
Limbs for Life, 218 E. Main, OKC, OK 73104 / 405-605-5462