Stepping Strong Fund

"The moment the ambulance arrived at Brigham and Women's Hospital, following the chaos at the Boston Marathon finish line in 2013, I felt safety, love, and true compassion. No words will ever fully express my gratitude to the doctors and nurses who saved my life and legs." —Gillian Reny

On April 15, 2013, Gillian Reny, an 18-year-old high school student and aspiring dancer, stood near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. With her parents, Steven and Audrey Epstein Reny, she watched with pride as she waited for her sister Danielle to finish the race. Then two bombs went off and a beautiful day turned to heartbreaking tragedy for the Renys and all of Boston.

When first responders rushed the Renys to BWH, Audrey and Steven were treated for minor injuries while doctors and nurses worked heroically to save Gillian’s life. In the process, they also saved both of her legs—a miraculous outcome. Today, Gillian is on the road to recovery, and was able to attend her high school graduation and arrive on time for her freshman year of college. She is among the 39 individuals with life-threatening injuries who were treated and saved by BWH on that fateful day.

Turning Tragedy Into Hope

Inspired by Gillian’s resilience—and forever grateful to the BWH team that saved her life—the Reny family established the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund in February 2014.

The Stepping Strong Fund fuels innovative research and clinical programs in trauma healing and limb reconstruction.

With the establishment of the fund, the Renys hope to help future patients with traumatic, athletic, military, and disease-related limb injuries regain their strength and step strong once again.

"We are so grateful to the thousands of people from across the globe who are helping to turn the Boston Marathon tragedy into hope for trauma patients. Together we are fueling innovation, creating much needed awareness, and proving that the goodness of the human spirit prevails." —Audrey Epstein Reny

For information on making a leadership gift to the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund, please contact Terry McGowan at or 617-424-4316.