Runners Help One Another In Wake Of Last Year’s Bombing
Among those running the Boston Marathon are three people who met amid the chaos of last year’s bombing.
Carol Downing ran in last year’s marathon, and was stopped about a half-mile from the finish line. Two of her daughters, Erika and Nicole and her son-in-law Michael were injured in the explosions. Erika had her left leg amputated.
As Carol was searching for her family, she ran across Tim Island, another marathon runner and his wife Patty. The South End couple took Carol in and the three have been close friends ever since.
Their stories are highlighted in the book “If Not for the Perfect Stranger: Heartwarming and Healing Stories of Kindness from the 2013 Boston Marathon.”
Carol Downing, runner from Maryland. Two of her daughters, Erika Brannock and Nicole Gross, and her son-in-law Michael Gross, were injured in the explosions on Boylston Street last year.
Tim Island, South End resident who was stopped just before the finish line of last year’s Boston Marathon. He is running this year to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Patty Island, South end resident. She was watching her husband Tim Island run last year’s Boston Marathon. She is running this year to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
- “(Erika) Brannock has dark days, but her family and friends say they’ve never heard her complain. Her mom says she’s become a symbol of resilience.”
- “(Carol) Downing was a half mile from the finish line when the first bomb went off, severing Brannock’s leg. Her sister, Nicole Gross, was hospitalized for 39 days, recovering from broken bones and a nearly severed Achilles tendon. Her husband, Michael Gross, had cuts, burns and bruises.”
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