Dear Stepping Strong Marathon Team,
Hello! Now that everyone is fully registered with the B.A.A. for the 126th Boston Marathon our family wanted to officially welcome you to the 2022 Brigham Stepping Strong Marathon Team. We are honored that you have chosen to run and support The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation and the important work we are doing to transform outcomes for trauma patients like our daughter, Gillian.
On Valentine’s Day, we also wanted to tell you how much we love your dedication and commitment to our cause. Our passion for supporting trauma survivors comes from our love for so many. First and foremost, our precious daughter, but also, the amazing physicians at the Brigham who saved her, cherished family and friends who helped us in our time of need, and our love for everyone who has joined the Stepping Strong family over the last 8 years runs deep. So, thank you!
We could never have imagined that in eight years we would grow from just 14 marathon runners to 115+ team members, open a physical center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, fund 37 teams of physician-scientists, support 3 educational fellowships to train the next generation of surgeons and care providers, launch an injury prevention program, and raise more than $24 million! It is truly amazing—and proves that hope and goodness can emerge from even the most awful tragedy. We are also proud to share that we are now changing lives with Stepping Strong funded research. There are more than 30 individuals who have regained their mobility and are living their lives in ways that they never dreamed were possible thanks to our inaugural Stepping Strong Innovator, Dr. Matt Carty, who you heard from on Thursday’s team meeting, and his revolutionary Ewing Amputation procedure. We are fortunate to have bilateral Ewing amputee, Paul “PK” Kent run alongside you this year as a member of our Stepping Strong Boston Marathon team!
We can’t wait to get to know all of you! The team is large, so it may take a while, but please know, we want to develop a friendship with each of you, so keep on reaching out. We loved getting to know some of you last week during our first small team gathering! We will host three more small team gatherings on February 15, March 6, and March 8 (there is still time to RSVP!) and there will be other social events and surprises along the way that we hope will make your marathon experience extra special.
You are runners of all ages from around the world with incredible personal stories that brought you to our team, and we are inspired by each of you. With your gritty determination, you have made this year’s Stepping Strong team one of our best yet. We are confident that if we all “Step Strong” together from now until April 18, everyone will cross their finish line with great pride in knowing that we have accomplished something extraordinary—as individuals and collectively for the benefit of others.
Wishing you an extra special Valentine’s day and hope you get to spend it with your loved ones and the special people who are motivating you to train for your 26.2-mile journey in April.
With heartfelt gratitude and lots of love,
Audrey, Steven, Danielle, Kyle, and Gillian