On Marathon Monday, a 132-member team ran the 121st Boston Marathon to support Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in recognition of the caregivers and researchers who are turning tragedy into hope for countless patients and families. Funds raised will support The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation as well as Michael J. Davidson Endovascular Fellowship, the A.J. Trustey Epilepsy Research Fund, and more.
“Steve and I were incredibly honored to run the course with this amazing team,” says Audrey Epstein Reny, team captain and co-founder of the Stepping Strong Center. “Knowing we all were running for something bigger than ourselves pulled us up Heartbreak Hill and into Boston. I am thrilled to say that, together, we raised more than $1.1 million to transform outcomes for patients in need.”
Despite the challenges of the 26.2-mile course on a warm spring day, BWH runners said energizing crowds, solidarity with their teammates, and inspiration from patients kept their spirits high along the renowned route. Shari Davis, who joined the team in the final week before the marathon, says the experience of running her seventh marathon this year with the Stepping Strong team was profound.
“My daughter is friends with Gillian, and we have been so inspired by what she and her family have done to turn a tragic experience into an opportunity to improve the lives of so many people,” says Davis. “When the heat started getting the best of me on the route, I dug down and remembered the stories I had heard of all the people who have overcome trauma and are now benefitting from Stepping Strong innovations, and that gave me what I needed in those moments to keep going.”
Fellow Stepping Strong teammate Ann Michaud also felt a personal connection to the group’s mission.
“I’ve been in a situation where I couldn’t run, so today I ran for everybody who can’t,” Michaud said. “It was an honor to fundraise for a cause that will help people hopefully get back on their feet again and step strong.”
To learn more about running with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, contact Caroline Duncan at BWHmarathonteam@partners.org or 617-424-4263.