Partners for Youth with Disabilities is proud to call Boston home. Most of our volunteers, participants, staff members, and partner organizations have deep rooted connections to Boston. The 2014 Boston Marathon is tomorrow and many individuals with disabilities will be racing, including the largest number of blind and visually impaired athletes ever. Keep an eye out for these inspiring athletes while you are cheering on the runners on Monday!
Oz is running with Team Spaulding to raise money for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, which opened last year and treated 32 marathon bombing victims. He is a former PYD mentor and a former teacher of the Young Entrepreneurs Project, for which he won Teacher of the Year from the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. In the words of PYD Executive Director Regina Snowden: “Running Boston personifies Oz, as he is always on the run all over the city of Boston and the nation for countless humanitarian efforts and for being a VOICE of extraordinary brilliance, talent and integrity.”
This father and son team has competed in almost 1,100 races including every Boston Marathon since 1981! Dick Hoyt pushes the wheelchair of his son Rick, who has cerebral palsy. They are running their 33rd Boston Marathon to honor all of those injured and killed in last year’s bombings. Originally, they planned to have the 2013 Marathon be their last, but after their race was cut short they knew that they would do one more.
Team with a Vision is running in their 21st Boston Marathon to raise money and awareness for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI). This inspirational, international team has runners in both the Open Division and the Visually Impaired Division, including some Paralympics hopefuls and a former U.S. Marine. As one Team member says: “I want to model that one can still set ambitious goals in the face of adversity.”
You may recognize Adrianne Haslet-Davis from her recent TED Talk dancing with her new prosthetic leg. She was watching the 2013 Boston Marathon near the finish line when the bombs went off, and lost the bottom part of her leg. Her twin brothers will be running the marathon this year, and Haslet-Davis will join them in running the final mile of the race.
There are countless other runners with inspiring stories in the 2014 Boston Marathon, including amputee runners, a runner with autism, and groups raising money for local organizations such as Best Buddies, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, and Boys and Girls Clubs around Boston. We will be cheering for all of the racers on Monday, and are proud to be Boston Strong!