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Runners Help One Another In Wake Of Last Year’s Bombing

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Erika Brannock, 29, and her mother, Carol Downing, as Brannock is released from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on June 3, 2013. (Elise Amendola/AP)

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Erika Brannock, 29, and her mother, Carol Downing, as Brannock is released from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on June 3, 2013. (Elise Amendola/AP)

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.”

Guests

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.

More

CommonHealth: Marathon Bombing Victim Anticipates Return To Boston

  • “(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.”

CommonHealth: Preschool Teacher Who Lost Leg Says Goodbye To Boston, And Thanks

  • “(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.”

Other stories from this show:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • billhubboston

    Tim and Patty live a few doors down from me, in the South End. They are exactly as wonderful and generous as they sound. But their tomcat, Henry… ;-)

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