Marathon Bombing Survivors Award ‘Boston College Strong’ Scholarship

BOSTON (CBS) – They call it BC Strong, and on Monday, two Boston Marathon bombing survivors honored a Boston College student who has conquered his own disability while at the same time, helping others.

Jack Manning from Norfolk, Mass. is a BC sophomore who lost a leg to cancer when he was just eight. He is now the first recipient of the BC Strong Scholarship.

bostoncollegestrong1 Marathon Bombing Survivors Award Boston College Strong Scholarship

Jessica Kensky, Patrick Downes, and Jack Manning at Boston College Monday. (WBZ-TV)

To understand how Jack Manning got to this place, you have to go back to his childhood. Bone cancer took his leg, and a year of chemo took his strength.

But not for long. He learned to use a prosthetic leg, running down the halls of Boston’s Children’s Hospital. He became a multi-sport athlete, a mentor to others with cancer, and a rider in the Pan Mass Challenge, dedicated to fighting the disease.

So it was fitting that marathon bombing survivors Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, both of whom lost legs on that April afternoon, were the ones to present Jack with the first BC Strong Scholarship.

Downes and Kensky say they chose Manning for his “perseverance in the face of adversity.”

“You had to develop a level of maturity and understanding, of patience, and now you’ve turned that into compassion,” Downes told the crowd.

pmc Marathon Bombing Survivors Award Boston College Strong Scholarship

Jack Manning, riding in the PMC in 2014. (WBZ-TV)

“It means so much to me, and I’m so grateful to these two and everyone involved in making the scholarship possible,” says Manning.

“We’re so excited to see what Jack does. That he finds meaning and purpose, and surrounds himself with loving people,” Downes says.

“I’m very excited for the years to come and hope to pay it forward to the next recipient,” says Manning.

Jack is studying business at BC and maintains a 3.75 GPA. Patrick Downes is a BC alum. The scholarship fund was created by his college classmates for a student who has overcome a physical disability.

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