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Young Marathon Survivor Jane Richard Shows Off New ‘Cheetah’ Running Leg

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Boston Strong

 

BOSTON (CBS) – As the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings approaches, the family of Martin Richard, the youngest victim, has released a statement and photo of Martin’s sister, Jane, with her new prosthetic “Cheetah” running leg.

The family said the photo shows “just how far Jane has come on what has been a long and difficult road to recovery.”

Jane, then 7, lost her leg in the explosion that killed 8-year-old Martin and two other people in the April 15 attack on Boylston Street.

Their mother Denise suffered a head injury and lost vision in one eye.

Bill Richard had shrapnel wounds and burns to his legs. He also lost part of his hearing.

In the statement, the family said it is keeping busy with the team of 100 runners, Team MR8, supporting the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation.

They also expressed gratitude for the support they’ve received in the 11 months since the bombing.

The full statement posted to the Richard Family Updates page at RichardFamilyBoston.tumblr.com follows:

Jane Richard with her new running leg. (Richard family photo)

Jane Richard with her new running leg. (Richard family photo)

With the 2014 Boston Marathon now just one month away, we are pleased to share a photo that shows just how far Jane has come on what has been a long and difficult road to recovery.  Last week she received a “Cheetah” running leg, designed for athletics and everyday use.  This was a gift to her from an organization called Wiggle Your Toes; whose mission is to support those suffering from limb loss, in collaboration with Jane’s team at United Prosthetics, who donated their time and labor to construct it and get her up and running.  Never self-conscious and always smiling, Jane has worn it to school several times which speaks to the can-do spirit she has displayed over the last 11 months.

With just one month to this year’s Boston Marathon, we find ourselves fully engaged in getting the foundation we set up to honor our son Martin off to a strong start.  In addition to working to support the wonderful team of 100 runners who make up “Team MR8,” we have also been busy networking with established nonprofits as well as private and corporate foundations and even a few think tanks and institutes.  The work being done out there to make the world a better place amazes and inspires us.

The team of runners supporting The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation (Team MR8) has exceeded our every expectation.  We are blessed to have found a collection of team players that perfectly embody the values that have always been important to our family.  Watching them come together as a team, form friendships and support one another reminds us why we made “community” one of the three pillars of our foundation.  They have been hosting fundraising events in communities all over Massachusetts and around the country.  These wonderful people are giving life to a foundation we hope will pay their dedication, determination and generosity forward for generations.

There is much activity in our lives these days, which goes a long way toward distracting us from what is certain to be an emotional one-year anniversary on April 15th.  A day doesn’t pass when we don’t cry over the loss of Martin, but we also laugh when we think about him, which feels like the right way to remember a little boy with a zest for life and a caring heart.

Our gratitude will never diminish for the support and love we have received over the last eleven-plus months.  As the next few weeks come and go, we will be thinking about all of the families that have been impacted by the senseless events of last April, and proud of the way the community around us has persevered.

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