To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, Sports Illustrated profiled Heather Abbott, a Rhode Island woman who was a spectator that day and underwent below-knee amputation after being injured in the blasts.
Abbott, who became an Amputee Coalition Certified Peer Visitor not long after, started the Heather Abbott Foundation to help other members of the limb loss and limb difference community pay for prostheses.
She felt lucky that so many people made donations after hearing about the bombings that she could afford all the prostheses she needed. When she learned that other people struggled to afford anything beyond the prosthesis covered by insurance to help with walking, Abbott had to help.
Approximately 100 people have received prostheses through the foundation.
“If you’d told me before that I’d be running a nonprofit, aside from my regular job, I don’t think I would have believed it,” she told Sports Illustrated. “But it does feel almost like an obligation. I mean, I was given so much help and was really fortunate to have so much support. How could I not provide that support to other people?”
Abbott hosts an annual watch party for the marathon, which was held Monday on Patriots Day in Boston. She always invites other people with limb loss and limb difference.
To learn more about how to become a Certified Peer Visitor, please visit the program webpage.