So this is it"¦my last update. I am feeling a little sad about it being the final post, but so happy for all we were able to accomplish over the past year to help raise money for Heather's prosthetics, and to keep all of you updated on her REMARKABLE progress. I remember the night I created the page. It was the evening before Heather would undergo a below knee amputation. I posted a link to my Facebook page and didn't write anything fancy"¦ just "Please share." And look what all of you helped us accomplish. Through over 9,000 facebook shares, we were able to raise close to $200,000.
Over the last couple of weeks Heather, along with our family and her friends, attended the anniversary tribute events, including a 1 mile walk/run for bombing survivors and a Red Sox game where first responders, survivors and runners were honored. This busy time concluded with the 118th Boston Marathon, where Heather and her friends spent the day at the Forum Restaurant, as they had planned to do last year. Aside from the six that accompanied her last year, dozens of others showed up to express their support, all wearing the new Heather Strong T-Shirts "Still Standing Strong 2014". They shared the space with the Joe Andruzzi Foundation Return to Forum Marathon Watch Party, where Heather and her savior, Matt Chatham, waited for Matt's wife Erin who ran her first marathon ever. (Erin had initially found Heather on the ground after she was struck by the bomb last year.) Heather met Erin at the corner of Comm Ave and Hereford St and joined her, on her running blade leg, for the last half mile of the race. They crossed the finish line together, arms raised, where Matt and my aunt and uncle (Heather's parents) awaited.
Other highlights from the weekend included Heather and her friends meeting Kevin Spacey. He later sat in the front row at a speech Heather delivered for the Spaulding Rehab Runners at the Revere Hotel and started a standing ovation! And Heather's friend Marc Paquette, to whom she donated a bib given to her by the BAA, ran the marathon in her honor and raised over $7,000 for her future prosthetics! What a week!
Even though this is my final planned update on "gofundme,", the site will remain open indefinitely for future donations. Heather has lots of exciting things planned over the next few months, including delivering the keynote speeches at the University of West Virginia School of Medicine's Commencement, the Physician Assistant Foundation awards dinner in Boston and the Windstorm Insurance Network conference in New Jersey, just to name a few. For future updates, please remember to "like" her Facebook page, "Heather Abbott: Road to Recovery" or follow her on Twitter @Heather_Abbott1 And if you're interested in buying a new Heather Strong T-Shirt, you can order them using the following link: http://heather-strong.myshopify.com/. Proceeds will go to Heather's Recovery Fund.
Thank you SO MUCH for all of your support over the past year. We are FOREVER grateful.
It's the weekend leading up to Marathon Monday in Boston and in case you haven't heard... Heather is running this year! She's joining Erin Chatham at the last half mile and running on her running leg to the finish line! Erin and her husband, Matt (former NFL Patriots lineman) were Heather's first responders and now her friends. They expect to meet up around 4:15 EST and you can track Erin using her bib number 29747 by texting it to 345678. It will also be aired on Universal Sports Network which is free all weekend.
Heather has been busy during the weeks leading up to the marathon, making appearances on Good Morning America, the TODAY Show, Extra and ESPN just to name a few!
Check out her Facebook page Heather Abbott: Road to Recovery to see some of the clips of her interviews this week. You can also find her on Twitter at Heather_Abbott1.
Wishing Heather good luck on Monday! I'll be back in touch for one final update after the marathon!
Heather has been busier than ever preparing for the one year anniversary since the Boston Marathon bombing. She has completed many speaking engagements including Partners' Healthcare Annual Conference for Business Development in Boston and is looking forward to delivering commencement speeches at Kean University and West Virginia University School of Medicine next month, among several others.
Heather recently traveled to Lexington, KY to be the special guest of honor at the Run the Blue Grass Half Marathon, where she met many supporters, a few horses and quite a bit of bourbon! ïŠ You may have also seen her participating in the Red Sox home opener on April 4th with other bombing survivors. Look for her again on the field for opening ceremonies on April 20th for the last big tribute by the Sox to the marathon bombing survivors.
Our family will be joining Heather, her friends, and her life savers Matt & Erin Chatham at a Brigham & Women's marathon bombing tribute event and the City of Boston's tribute event on April 15th. The following week, April 21st, is this year's Boston Marathon. Heather has been practicing her running because the BAA is going to allow her to jump in at the end of the marathon to join Erin Chatham in crossing the finish line of her first marathon. Erin initially helped Heather after being struck by the bomb's shrapnel last year.
Be sure to look for Heather on ESPN, USA Today, APB, NPR, CBS Nightly news, and Comcast Sports over the next few weeks. Heather will also be on the Today Show on April 15th.
You can purchase your "Heather Strong "“ Still Standing Strong" t-shirt by visiting the following website: http://heather-strong.myshopify.com. Orders must be placed by 2pm this Friday to ensure delivery prior to this year's Boston Marathon. A portion of the proceeds will go towards Heather's Recovery Fund.
I am looking forward to providing you all with a FINAL update following the marathon. After that post, updates will continue on the Facebook page "Heather Abbott: Road to Recovery" or on Heather's twitter page "Heather_Abbott1". Thank you all for your continued support!
About a month ago I was sitting with my husband and our daughter in the waiting room of our pediatrician's office, and I glanced over at a young girl reading a magazine. I whispered something to husband that I never would have imagined saying a year ago"¦ "Look at the foot on the cover of that magazine"¦ I think that's Heather's foot!" Sure enough it was in fact Heather's foot featured on the cover of Brown Medical Magazine's Winter edition. She was also featured in a story about when to choose amputation versus trying to save a damaged limb.
Heather's story also made it to the United Kingdom. She is featured in the April UK edition of Marie Claire magazine in a story called "Boston Bombers Won't Stop Running." The magazine is currently on sale in the UK and will be on sale at Barnes & Noble in the US around March 23rd.
Heather continues with speaking engagements around the US, including Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Heath Services, Remax Employee Awards Gala, and Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel Conference in Marco Island, FL.
She recently attended the book release party in NYC for "Leggy Blonde," the memoir of Aviva Drescher, amputee and Real Housewives of New York City reality TV star. Heather will be making a guest appearance on an episode of the Real Housewives soon. The exact date of her appearance is TBD, but the series season premiere is Tuesday, March 11th at 9:00pm EST on Bravo TV.
On April 1st a book called "Long Mile Home" will be released. The book recalls the events of the Boston Marathon bombing, and features Heather's story as well as four other individuals affected by the attacks. Heather will be participating in various interviews and book signing events to promote sales of the book, a portion of which will go to the One Fund which benefits victims of the bombing.
It will soon be one year since that horrific day which changed her life forever. Heather will be attending the Boston Marathon next month with her friends and will also be participating in many events leading up to the one year anniversary. Look for her on the local and national news in the coming weeks.
A Facebook page has been created so that you can continue to follow Heather's progress after the one year anniversary. The page is called "Heather Abbott: Road to Recovery." Please search for it and remember to "like" it. This page also links to her Twitter account @luvpugs92.
It has been 9 months since Heather survived the Boston Marathon bombing, and she continues to make so much progress. I love having the privilege of updating all of you on her continued success.
Heather was recently recognized by Betsy Nabel, MD, President of Brigham & Women's hospital as her "One Shining Moment" of 2013 in the BWH Bulletin in an article where Dr. Nabel describes Heather as "a symbol of hope and strength in the face of difficulty." The article includes a photo of Heather in her high heel prosthetic, which is included in this update on www.gofundme.com/HeatherAbbott.
Heather's blade leg graced the cover of TOPS in Lexington, a Kentucky magazine, where the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon's support of her recovery fund and her upcoming visit to Kentucky is discussed. Heather says she is looking forward to meeting her supporters and practicing her "y'all".
Heather also recently participated with a panel of Spaulding Rehab nurses and therapists in an educational discussion for the MGH Institute of Health Professionals. Her injury and rehabilitation was discussed to educate students on techniques and practices that work in rehab situations like hers. Heather also recently spoke at the Portsmouth, RI Rotary Club where the group presented her with a generous donation to her recovery fund.
Heather is looking forward to being featured in UK Marie Claire and UK Cosmopolitan Magazine this spring as well as other speaking engagements including the ReMax Awards dinner and Massachussets College of Pharmacy. She will also be recognized this Saturday by Brown University at their basketball game versus Yale University.
Thank you for your continued interest in Heather's recovery and for your generous contributions.
Heather has been busy as usual over the past few weeks. During the week of Thanksgiving, she was part of the "Big Blue Bug" lighting that takes place every year in Providence, Rhode Island. A week later, Heather appeared on CNN where she spoke about her stiletto prosthetic. It was a really great clip, and I've included a link to the video on CNN's website, as well as a few photos, at the bottom of this update message on www.gofundme.com/HeatherAbbott.
Heather is currently featured in the Boston Magazine Top Docs section with Dr. Crandell (her doctor from her time at Spaulding Rehabilitation) and co-marathon amputee & friend, Roseann Sdoia. This December issue is on shelves now.
There is a lot to look forward to in 2014! Heather will be recognized at the Brown vs. URI basketball game on January 2nd at Brown University. She will also be featured in the January edition of two magazines: TOPS Kentucky & Brown Medical. Heather has also booked several speaking engagements. She continues to be an inspiration to us all.
Thank you, as always, for all of your continued support for Heather and for our family. We wish everyone a very happy holiday season.
Chances are, you have probably seen Heather on TV over the past few weeks"¦ that's because she has been showing off her new high heel prosthetic all around town! That's right"¦ 4 inch heels! When she debuted her new prosthetic, she happened to be wearing a Nine West shoe! The company was so excited about Heather's choice, that they called and said they would be sending a gift! We love Nine West!
Over the past month, Heather went to San Diego to practice more running with the Challenged Athlete's foundation. She also posed for an ad in RI Local and Motif Magazine this month supporting the American Cancer Society. We can't keep track of all of her speaking engagements because there are just so many! She recently spoke at Salve Regina University, the Naval Academy, and Broad Street Middle School in Wakefield, RI about overcoming adversity.
A few weeks ago I was visiting Heather with my daughter, and asked her what she was up to that night. Her response, "I'm going to be on the field for Game 2 of the World Series tonight"¦ With James Taylor!" "¦ Just a normal day for this cousin of mine. Heather, along with other Boston Marathon Survivors, stood by him while he sang America the Beautiful. Once the Red Sox WON the World Series, Heather saw them off to the Rolling Rally Parade after breakfast at Fenway!
Many generous donations continue to come in"¦ Most recently, Heather was presented with a $5,000 donation from the RI Associated General Contractors.
Heather went to an all day training session at Spaulding and is now a Certified Peer Counselor to other amputees! She is really looking forward to helping others cope with limb loss the same way that she has been helped.
Tune into CBS tonight at 5pm to see Heather and Joe Andruzzi on "Courage in Sports."
Tonight at 7pm EST, WCVB-TV Channel 5 will air a one-hour special program in advance of the six-month anniversary of the attack on the Boston Marathon.
Boston Strong: Reunited brings together survivors, first responders and civilian heroes for the first time on television. The gathering, taped Sept. 19 at Northeastern University, features personal triumphs and trials, heartwarming stories and two surprise reunions between those injured and the strangers who helped save their lives.
If you're not in the Boston area, you can watch a live stream of the program on www.WCVB.com. Tune in to see Heather soon!
In case you didn't see her on the big screen, this past Friday, Heather participated in a ceremony along with Joe Andruzzi and Matt Chatham, former NFL Patriots linemen and Heather's "life savers", at the Red Sox vs Tampa Bay playoff game. Boston police, medical personnel and bombing survivors were all honored at the game, where the grass on the field was cut to read "B Strong".
On Saturday, Heather was presented with a running "blade" leg by the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) at Nike Town on Newbury Street and she tested it out at a running clinic held by CAF at Harvard on Sunday. She had the opportunity to run with Joan Benoit Samuelson, 2 time Boston Marathon winner and Olympic Gold medalist.
"It was great to be out there being active again, although my residual limb was pretty sore from all of the new activity and added pressure. I still can't wait to get out there and try it out again!"
Dorset, in England, is putting the final touches on Heather's high heel leg! Can you believe she decided to make it a FOUR inch heel? Heather is really excited about it"¦ It will be complete with a high definition silicone cosmetic cover sometime next week!
(If you are reading this via an automatic feed through facebook, be sure to click on the "gofundme" link to view photos!)
On Thursday, September 12th, the All32in17 non-profit organization along with the New England Patriots sponsored an incredible night that paired those who lost limbs in the Boston Marathon Bombing with Wounded Warriors. It was a great opportunity for Heather to interact with others who have undergone amputations and succeeded in continuing on with their lives. Additionally, almost all of the Marathon amputees were present. Heather said, "It was terrific to reconnect with those I hadn't seen in a while. We had a chance to greet some of the players on the field and sat in the club section to watch the game. Not to mention"¦ did you see how close I was to Tom Brady?!??"
With only 2 hours of sleep, Heather hopped on a plane the next morning to head to New York City! It was her first experience going through security and flying with a prosthetic leg. In New York, she met up with Aviva Drescher and Erik Schaffer at A Step Ahead Prosthetics to film an episode of the Real Housewives of New York! Stay tuned for the air date, which will be sometime in February or March.
Heather also had the honor of accepting a check for $30,000 on behalf of the One Fund, donated by All State Insurance at their half marathon on September 15th. She also participated in an interview for Boston's WCVB Channel 5 in anticipation of the 6 month mark since the bombings. The interview will air on Monday, October 14th at 7:00pm.
The following link includes a video that Heather put together to thank her family and friends in Newport who supported her over the past 5 months.
Heather was badly injured in the blasts at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2013. She suffered a a severe injury to her left foot which resulted in a below knee amputation. It will be a long road ahead for Heather, and we are hoping to relieve some of the impending financial burden by raising funds in her name. This will allow Heather to focus all of her energy on getting better. Please share this page with your friends and donate to help Heather and her family during this very difficult time.
In Heather's own words, "Thanks to all who have shown their support. I really can't put into words how much it means to me."