Dear Stepping Strong Marathon Team,
Hello! We wanted to send an official welcome to the 2021 Brigham Stepping Strong Marathon Team from our family now that everyone is fully registered with the B.A.A. for the historic 125th Boston Marathon. While we have met some of you on zoom during the first two team meetings, there are many new team members who have recently joined us. So, we just want to say once again how honored we are that you have all chosen to run and support The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation and the work we are doing to transform outcomes for trauma patients like our daughter, Gillian.
We could never have imagined that in seven years we would grow from just 14 marathon runners to 100+ team members, opened a physical center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, funded 37 teams of physician-scientists, launched 3 educational fellowships to train the next generation of surgeons and care providers, launched an injury prevention program, and raised more than $23 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 26 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 and his revolutionary Ewing Amputation procedure. Three of these patients have participated on our Stepping Strong running teams, completing the B.A.A. 5K and Falmouth Road Race and have even set their sights on running the Boston Marathon in the future.
We can’t wait to get to know you. The team is large, so it may take a while, but please know, it means so much to us to develop a friendship with each of you, so keep on reaching out. We will host our first small team gathering on zoom tonight, on Monday, 7/19 and Tuesday 7/20 in Boston Common (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 something extra special.
You are runners of all ages from across the country with incredible personal stories that brought you to our team, and we are so inspired by each of you. With your gritty determination, you have made this year’s Stepping Strong team one of our best yet. It is extra special that we will finally be able to connect in person after this long pandemic year in isolation. We are confident that if we all “Step Strong” together from now until October 11, 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.
With heartfelt gratitude,
Audrey, Steven and Gillian Reny