Boston Marathon bombing survivor focused on paying it forward

Heather Abbott lost part of her leg in marathon bombing


After she lost part of her left leg in the Boston Marathon bombing, Heather Abbott had a choice: She could let her loss define the rest of her life, or she could use it as an opportunity to help others who also lost limbs through trauma. 

Heather chose the latter. 

"What happened to me didn't defeat me," Abbott said.

She created the Heather Abbott Foundation to provide special prostheses to those who have lost limbs through trauma.

Abbott discovered the need for her foundation after seeing the high cost of customized prostheses.  After the 2013 bombing, Abbott tried as quickly as she could to return to her normal, everyday activities.  

However, she found that things as simple as wearing heels would require a customized prosthetic.  She benefited from the donations thousands made to help the victims of the bombing and received two prostheses, including one that allowed her wear high heels again. In fact, thanks to customized prosthesis, she can do everything she loves to do including paddle boarding and running.

Although insurance companies cover a portion of the cost for basic prostheses, prosthetic devices range in price from $15,000 to $100,000.

Abbott created her foundation to help cover the cost of custom prostheses for victims.  Donations made to her foundation helps amputees get the prosthesis they need to get their life back. Her foundation already has delivered two prostheses to amputees, and is already working to help five other people.

"The part of my recovery that kind of lives on and has meant the most to me is the opportunity to pay it forward," Abbott said.

Abbott  will share her inspirational story in Windsor, Ontario Monday night at the  Eleventh Annual Windsor Essex County Sports Persons of the Year  (WESPY) Awards. The WESPYS will begin at 6 p.m. at the Caboto Club. Abbott  is expected to speak just after 8 p.m.

For more information about purchasing tickets visit www.thewespys.ca/ticket-purchase.html.

To learn more about the Heather Abbott Foundation visit heatherabbottfoundation.org.