No Barriers Boston Fund is Launched!

April 26, 2013

Today, the New York Times came out with an article highlighting the difficult road that is ahead for many of the Boston Marathon bombing victims.  As the news piece mentions, last week’s catastrophic event injured over 260 people ranging in age from 7 – 71, taking many of their limbs and leaving them with complex wounds.  Several of these people, as we all can imagine, looked on as the runners crossed the finish line and dreamed that one day it might be them doing the same.  Except now, many of these people have injuries that leave them questioning whether that, or any sort of physical activity, will still be possible.

In steps No Barriers and the No Barriers Boston Fund.

The Fund is Born

The mission of No Barriers is to unleash the potential of the human spirit – and this Fund is a result of the strength of the human spirit of two individuals: Dr. Hugh Herr and Mary Kelly Persyn.

Dr. Hugh Herr of MIT in Boston heads the Biomechatronics research group, which focuses on developing physically assistive technologies that will be intimate extensions of the human body—structurally, neurologically, and dynamically. A double amputee himself, Hugh joined forces with Mary Kelly Persyn, a passionate runner and member of the San Francisco Running Club.

The idea of a loss that was not only horrific in its occurrence, but also one that would take something away from someone that “makes them tick” as a runner and an athlete, immediately struck a chord with Persyn, leading to her initiation of the idea of supporting survivors with athletic prosthetics. And with that, Persyn contacted her longtime friend, and former No Barriers board member, Hugh Herr and asked about the possibility of providing people who lost limbs with prosthetics that would enable them to accomplish the physical goals they wanted to set in the future. Knowing that this mission resonated deeply with the No Barriers mindset, Herr brought his good friend Erik Weihenmayer and No Barriers into the conversation, and the No Barriers Boston Fund was born.

What the Fund Supports

We at No Barriers believe in harnessing adversity and turning it into new strength. We’ve helped many people, from wounded veterans to youth with missing limbs and other disabilities, continue to get outside, explore and be active.  The No Barriers Boston Fund will help do just that.

The funds collected will go to fitting and providing prosthetic limbs for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing who have lost limbs. The Fund will specifically support limbs for athletic use, which can often be more expensive than a standard prosthetic and are often not covered by insurance. In addition, the fund may support the road to recovery for those who receive advanced prosthetics including rehabilitation opportunities.

The Boston Marathon is a huge celebration.  Of course people are in search of excellence and their personal best, but more so it provides a sense of community for people that have a passion for being active and running.  When the bombing occurred, it not only left the Boston community devastated, but left many people personally devastated with their own injuries.  Some have not even had time to think about what life will be like because they still have the challenges of surgeries and healing… but when they do step out from those challenges, that is when No Barriers moves in.  I am excited that we are able to help victims move forward with an active lifestyle and transcend physical barriers after this difficulty.” – Bill Barkeley, No Barriers Board Member and 2012 Boston Marathon runner.

How YOU Can Help!

We encourage you to go to No Barriers Boston Fund page to Donate Now!… OR take a bigger step – create your own page with the “Join my fundraising team” button on the fundraising page and dedicate a race, host an event, or come up with your own creative way to raise additional funds to support this cause. Your personalized page will allow you to convey why this cause is important to you, and share it with your friends and family.

Lets come together and help these victims realize what is possible!  As always, we appreciate all of your support!