What would you like people to know about how you are doing or feeling now?
Since losing my left leg, below the knee, in the bombing, I've started a fantastic nonprofit organization that helps amputees to obtain prosthetic devices which they otherwise couldn't afford. The Heather Abbott Foundation (HAF) was started in 2014 and has given grants for prosthetic devices to men, women and children, who have suffered amputations as a result of traumatic circumstances, from all over the country. HAF has played a big role in my own recovery process as well; allowing me to "make sense out of something senseless."
The Heather Abbott Foundation was started in 2014 and has given grants for prosthetic devices to men, women and children, who have suffered amputations as a result of traumatic circumstances, from all over the country.
What would you like to say to the Greater Boston community in regards to the support you received following April 15, 2013?
The support I received as a new amputee was remarkable and overwhelming. The Boston One Fund and help from other charitable organizations allowed me the means to obtain 6 different prosthetic legs - each allowing me to get a piece of my old life back. I had legs for running, swimming, walking and even for wearing high heels! Aside from the financial support, the well wishes and emotional support was certainly felt as well - there's not a price tag that can be put on that experience. Today, I continue to feel support from the Greater Boston Community by their outpouring of support for HAF. Hundreds show up to our fundraisers, and businesses all over the City have contributed donations to make them a success.
During your recovery, have there been any specific moments that were particularly poignant or meaningful to you?
Meeting the 16 other amputees during my recovery was incredibly important. Many of us stay connected, continue to lean on each other when we need help or advice, and come out to support each other in our various endeavors since the bombing, be it attending a movie premier, a book signing or by supporting a charity near and dear to one or more of us. This new "family" of mine is one I now can't imagine not having as a part of my life.
Are there particular activities or charitable efforts in which you have participated that you’ve found to be especially inspiring or restorative?
Being a beneficiary, and now a part of, nonprofits like the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the Semper Fi Fund not only inspired me to start my own nonprofit, but connected me with others like me and have helped me to appreciate what I still have.