Moving America Forward

These Survivors Give New Meaning to Reaching the Finish Line

April 15, 2014
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These Survivors Give New Meaning to Reaching the Finish Line
Screengrab via Dear World
"As you heal, know you inspire the rest of us to be better, still."

On April 15, 2013, an act of terror at the Boston Marathon claimed the lives of three people, injured 260 more, and locked down an entire city with the ensuing manhunt. But it’s in times of tragedy that the human spirit shines through: People ran towards the explosion to offer help. And now, one year later, survivors who lost limbs are not only back on their feet, but even dancing.

In a moving photo and video project called Dear World, photographer Robert X. Fogarty captures the resilience and strength of Boston marathon survivors and first responders a year removed from the tragedy. “What happened that day was terror. Terror happens when love is absent. Boston is a city of love stories now. Thank you for sharing yours here,” Fogarty writes to the survivors. “As you heal, know you inspire the rest of us to be better, still.”

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Roseann Sdoia, who lost a leg, writes for the project: “We have deformities to our bodies, but I think it makes us stronger to be so open with it. I think it’s part of our therapy to get through what happened to us. I feel like it was supposed to happen. I feel like my life was supposed to change. I don’t know if it’s to help others, but I feel like there was a reason for it. It happened to help bring some sort of awareness to disabilities or amputations. You definitely look at the world differently.”

The Dear World team also released the moving clip below featuring survivor and double amputee Celeste Corcoran, who returned to the finish line for the first time since the tragic day. “I had never been back, and it was about reclaiming [it]. That finish line has been a negative space since the marathon,” said Celeste, who along with her daughter Sydney, was injured last year. “This was about reclaiming that space in a positive way. I chose to be there. I took back control. I chose to do this.”

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As the Chicago Tribune reports, 36,000 runners have registered for this year’s marathon, 9,000 more than last year’s total. The newspaper writes that the number also includes runners who weren’t able to cross the finish line last year but are racing again in solidarity with the city.

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