This page was created to communicate and clarify information regarding the Richard family of Dorchester, Mass. in the aftermath of the 4/15/2013 events in Boston.
Information posted here has come from the family.
Media should direct inquiries to family spokesman Larry Marchese at:
lmarchese [at] legionthirteen.com
New posts will be announced via twitter.com/LarryMarchese
MARTIN W. RICHARD CHARITABLE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES
“TEAM MR8,” WHICH WILL RUN 2014 BOSTON MARATHON
Boston, Mass. (January 30, 2014) – The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation (Team MR8), a Massachusetts non-profit corporation formed by the parents of eight-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed at the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, today announced the first group of members of the Foundation’s 2014 Boston Marathon charity running team. The Foundation is accepting additional applications on a rolling basis from runners who are already registered to run the 2014 Boston Marathon, and who wish to support the Foundation. In accepting their place on Team MR8, these runners have pledged to raise funds that will power the Foundation’s mission and growth.
“We established The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation to honor our son Martin’s message of peace, a message that went global in the days after he was tragically taken from us while we were all cheering on runners at last year’s Boston Marathon,” said Martin’s father Bill Richard, “While the pain of that day will forever be with us, our hope is that this special event becomes a source of strength for our family and a means to make a difference in the world.”
The mission of the Foundation is “to honor Martin’s message of ‘No more hurting people – peace’ by investing in education, athletics and community.” While the fundraising side of the Foundation gets up and running, the family continues to meet with other foundations, philanthropists, and community leaders, all of whom are instrumental in helping the Richards develop, focus and implement the programs that will ultimately fulfill the Foundation’s mission.
The team was selected after the Richard family issued an open call for applications on January 6, 2014, to runners wishing to support the charity who either already had, or needed a number to run in this year’s Boston Marathon. Candidates had until January 17, to complete the 11-page application. By the deadline, more than 250 applications had come in.
“We were impressed that every application we received was sincere and thoughtful. Many of them were emotional and told of personal experience with tragedy, perseverance, and heroism,” said Denise Richard, Martin’s mother. “Some stories were difficult to read, but every single application was read carefully and considered fully. In many ways the process was good for Bill and me.”
The team was assembled to be a diverse group that includes personal friends and total strangers, teachers and coaches, first responders, doctors and nurses, journalists, entrepreneurs, CEOs, a member of Congress, and two Wounded Warriors. Just as important, Team MR8 also includes parents who love their families and work tirelessly to strengthen their own communities, and students and other young people who already know they can and should work to make the world a better place.
The Foundation received applications from more than 35 states, as well as from Europe, Asia, and South America. The team members announced today are comprised of 31 women, 41 men. Fifty members come from Massachusetts, with the other 22 coming from 15 different states. Fourteen members come from the Richard’s Dorchester neighborhood, and another six are from neighboring South Boston. Several more are originally from Dorchester (OFD) but currently living elsewhere. The average age of the runners is 39, with the youngest being 18 and the most senior being 65 years of age.
The runners named to Team MR8 today are:
All Team MR8 runners will have access to professional training and fundraising support from team manager Susan Hurley, founder of Charity Teams, Inc., a North Andover, Mass.-based company that helps small non-profits grow through athletic fundraising. Each runner has been provided with their own customizable fundraising website, which is powered by FirstGiving, a company that helps nonprofit organizations plan, execute, and measure online fundraising campaigns through a process designed to be simple, effective, and fun!
“We wish we had a bib for every applicant, because every one of them was deserving,” added Denise Richard. “We are especially excited about this first team, because they are helping us give this foundation the strong start it deserves. We look forward to forming lasting bonds with each and every member of Team MR8.”
Visit www.TeamMR8.org to support any of Team MR8’s runners, or to learn more about the team and the Foundation.
About Team MR8
The Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation Inc. (Team MR8) is a Massachusetts non-profit corporation formed by the parents of eight-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed at the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013.
In the days after the bombing, a photo of Martin holding a handmade poster that read “No more hurting people – Peace” went global and made many see Martin as a symbol of peace. Martin Richard’s view of peace went well beyond simply wanting to prevent violence. To Martin, peace meant things like togetherness, teamwork, fairness, sportsmanship, inclusion, and the prevention of bullying.
Martin was an 8-year-old boy who loved learning, sports and the world around him. He participated in the BAA Children’s Relay on Marathon weekend for three consecutive years. He was a school peacemaker and recognized at a young age that while we are all different, we are all the same. The way Martin saw the world anything was possible.
Bill and Denise Richard determined it was fitting that the foundation should honor Martin’s message of peace by investing in education, athletics and community. The Foundation’s nickname, MR8, is derived from Martin’s initials, as well as age, which was also the number he preferred to wear in sports.
The Foundation was incorporated on January 2, 2014, to operate exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the prescribed limits of § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service, an application for which is currently pending approval.
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As 2013, which was the most difficult year of our lives, came to a close, we thought we would reflect back and share an update before looking forward.
We are often asked how are we doing. The short answer is we are continuing to heal and doing our best to live our lives. Everyday life is busy with school and sports, daily chores and longer-term house projects. Lately we find ourselves shoveling out like everybody else in greater Boston. We are also spending time with family and friends who continue to be a tremendous source of strength for us.
We make the time to have some fun, but still struggle at times to get through a day. We celebrated Christmas this year, not like in years past, when we would have a house filled with loved ones. We snuck away this year, to someplace different, because now everything is different. But that was okay. We are, and will continue to make new memories while holding on to ones from precious years gone by.
Medical appointments still consume many hours of every week, but our healing progresses. Jane is walking with a new prosthesis, and to our surprise is playing basketball for her CYO team (please don’t tell her doctors!). Martin would be a 4th grader on that same team with Jane. We know he would be out there making sure Jane got her opportunities to score and being the floor general he always was. Henry is busy maintaining good grades as a sixth grader, preparing himself for that big transition into 7th grade.
We continue to receive support from near and far in the form of letters and gifts. We open and read everything. The letters we receive are an inspiration to us. We hope to reply to every single letter in time, and ask that you forgive that it takes us so much time to do so.
Our lives have changed forever, but many things stay the same. We miss Martin deeply – more than any words on paper could possibly describe. We persevere, trying to live as normal a life as possible for our sake and for the sake of our children. Through all we have been through, it has become obvious that we need to fill the emptiness we continue to feel. Martin will forever be a part of us, but we also feel an obligation to make sure the world remembers him and his message.
So, with the help of family and friends we have created the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation, which will operate as “Team MR8.” The mission of Team MR8 is “to honor Martin’s message of ‘No more hurting people – peace’ by investing in education, athletics and community”. The foundation became a legal entity on January 2, 2014, and our 501(c) (3) application has been submitted and is pending approval.
This foundation will be a legacy for Martin, allowing us to “pay it forward” and make a difference in ways that would make him proud but also be a source of healing and purpose for us.
Our first order of business is to recruit a team of charity runners for the 2014 Boston Marathon. Team MR8 (Martin’s initials along with his favorite number and age) will be a diverse group of runners committed to the foundation and its mission. Anyone wishing to apply for a marathon bib, or who wants more information, should visit www.TeamMR8.org.
Finally, while we will never forget the past we hope to look forward beginning in 2014. We still have many people to meet and thank, some who risked their own lives for our family and others on Boylston Street that day: citizen bystanders, doctors, first responders and others. Please know we are eternally grateful and hope to meet everyone in time.
Wishing everyone Peace in 2014.
Today marks four months since our family, and indeed our community were savagely and cowardly attacked for reasons we remain at a loss to understand. While we have made progress with our physical injuries, the emotional pain seems every bit as new as it was four months ago.
An hour doesn’t go by that we don’t feel the agony of Martin’s death and the senseless way it came about. The pain is constant and even the sweetest moments can become heartbreaking when we are struck by the realization that “Martin would have loved this…”
But it is not all heartbreak for our family, as we are making progress on this long, difficult and painful road forward. After three months in hospitals and hundreds of hours of physical therapy and other work at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Jane was discharged a few weeks ago. That night was the first time any of us slept at home in our own beds since before the bombings. We left home together on April 15th, and we were determined that none of us would sleep at home until all of us could do so. As so many things have been, returning home without Martin certainly made that important milestone bittersweet, but we know he was with us, as he is every moment of every day.
Jane continues to be an incredible source of inspiration - and exhaustion. The loss of her leg has not slowed her one bit, or deterred her in any way. As we knew she would, when we finally returned home, Jane walked into the house with the aid of her crutches, but under her own power. She has since received her prosthetic leg. And while she is getting more comfortable with it, she is also limited with how much she can wear it at any one time. When she is able to have it on, she struts around on it with great pride and a total sense of accomplishment. Her strength, balance and comfort with the leg improve every day. Watching her dance with her new leg, which has her weight primarily on the other leg, is absolutely priceless.
As for the rest of us, we are still dealing with our injuries and their impact on our lives. But we are also making progress, and just like Jane, we each endure the occasional setback here and there along the way.
Henry has continued to be strong, attentive and protective of all of us. He has also managed to be busy this summer, having attended a few cool overnight camps and occasionally sneaking away to spend time with close friends.
Henry and Jane both look forward to getting back to school in a few weeks. Bill and Denise look forward to their return to school as well. The change in schedule will permit us to both look back on the thousands of loving and generous gestures sent our way since this nightmare began, and also start to look forward. We hope to honor Martin’s memory in a meaningful and impactful way, and this fall we intend to start exploring ways to do that.
Throughout all that has happened, we have worked hard to maintain our bond as a family. With the love and support of family and friends, including those who were total strangers just four months ago, we feel like we are succeeding.
We are pleased to share news that Jane was discharged from Boston Children’s Hospital this morning. She was hospitalized in the ICU there for 39 days, during which time she underwent 12 surgeries. Today Jane is in good spirits and looking forward to beginning the next phase of her recovery. We all shared very emotional goodbyes with the doctors, nurses and staff at Children’s, who have taken such good care of not only Jane, but all of us.
Jane was transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where she will undergo rehab to regain her strength, balance and stamina. Jane and her body will ultimately dictate the timeline for her stay at Spaulding. Jane’s stay will serve as a bridge to what will be the “new normal” for Jane and our family going forward.
While we remain devastated over Martin’s death and all that has happened to us, Jane’s determination for getting better is an inspiring source of strength for the entire family. We will also be moving from the Longwood Medical Area to accommodations that allow us to remain close to Jane.
Finally, we want friends in our community to know that a Mass will be offered in Martin’s memory on June 9, 2013, which would have been his 9th birthday. It will be the 10:30 AM “Family Mass” at Saint Ann Church in Dorchester.
Last evening, just 23 days after the bombing attack on Boston, our seven year old daughter Jane underwent her eleventh surgery. While she has more trips to the O.R. ahead of her, last night’s operation marked an important milestone, as doctors were finally able to close the wound created when the bomb took her left leg below the knee. Part of the procedure involved preparing Jane’s injured leg to eventually be fitted for a prosthesis.
By closing the wound, the incredible medical team at Boston Children’s Hospital laid the groundwork for Jane to take an important step forward on the long and difficult road ahead of her. One of the things we have learned through all of this is to not get too high or too low. We take today’s development as positive news and look ahead with guarded optimism. If things go well, Jane could be ready to transition to the rehabilitation stage of her recovery in the next few weeks.
Getting to this point has not been easy for Jane. In addition to all of the surgeries, she has also had to fight off infections and other complications. After not being able to communicate with Jane for the first two weeks, she woke up with difficult questions that needed to be answered. There are not words to describe how hard sharing this heartbreaking news was on all of us.
As for the rest of the family, Bill and Denise were discharged from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center a week after they were admitted. While no sight has returned to Denise’s injured eye, her doctors have been pleased with how she is healing from her surgeries. Bill is healing from the shrapnel wounds and burns to his legs, and we remain hopeful there will be improvement over time from the hearing loss he suffered. It will be several months before we know what, if any improvement Denise or Bill will experience. Henry is back at school, which gives him a needed sense of routine and normalcy. We will continue to stay together in the Longwood Medical Area until Jane is discharged.
Our focus as a family remains on healing from our injuries, both physical and emotional.
Thank You to the Community
We would like to take this time to also acknowledge the strength we draw from the community. The outpouring of support from friends, family and total strangers has been incredible, and it is uplifting to our family in this most painful and difficult time. Well-wishes reach us, and they help more than anyone can know.
From the moment of the attack, all of us have been in the hands of well-trained people who are incredibly good at what they do. We thank the courageous first-responders and Samaritans who stabilized and comforted us on the scene as well as the medical staff at the hospitals for quick action and life-saving care. We particularly want to thank the people who quickly got to Jane and addressed her injury in the street because they saved her life. We also salute those who stood guard over Martin’s body so he was not alone. Those officers will never know how comforting that was in our very darkest hour. The doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, technicians, orderlies, volunteers and administrators at both Boston Children’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have been incredible. We will recover because of these dedicated and talented people.
People near and far have made loving gestures and poignant remembrances. We are aware of tributes and vigils across the area and around the world. Martin was a big sports fan and what has taken place across the sports world – from our local teams to our arch rivals, by teams and by individual players – reminds us why. Martin was “Boston Strong,” and now we must all be for him and for all of the victims of this senseless attack as well as their loved ones who are going through a hell we wish we never had to know.
Many of you feel an incredible need to do more, which is understandable and gracious. We will need help, as we cannot get through this tragedy on our own. We know how difficult it is to stand idle when something terrible happens, so we thank you for respecting our privacy and giving us space to not only recuperate and rest, but also to ensure the one thing the attack does not break is our bond as a family.
As hard as it is for us to do so, we ask for your continued patience as we work through something for which there is no roadmap, and there are no instructions.
We look forward to sharing another update when Jane leaves Children’s Hospital for rehab in the coming weeks.
“The outpouring of love and support over the last week has been tremendous. This has been the most difficult week of our lives and we appreciate that our friends and family have given us space to grieve and heal.
A private Funeral Mass was celebrated this morning with immediate family. We laid our son Martin to rest, and he is now at peace. We plan to have a public memorial service in the coming weeks to allow friends and loved ones from our community to join us for a celebration of Martin’s life.”
On April 15th, 2013, Bill & Denise Richard of Dorchester, Massachusetts brought their three children, ages 11, 8 and 7 to Boston to cheer on runners in the Boston Marathon. The second of the two bombs detonated within feet of where all five of the Richard family members were standing.
The force of the blast took Martin Richard’s life. He was eight years old. Their seven year old daughter Jane lost her leg and Denise suffered a serious eye injury. Bill took shrapnel from the bomb in the legs and has some hearing loss that is expected to be temporary. Henry, the oldest of the three children, miraculously did not suffer physical injuries from the blast.
Bystanders joined first responders in giving comfort and aid to the Richards until they could be transported to nearby hospitals.
"Our family wishes to salute the thousands of officers and agents from the Boston, Cambridge and Watertown Police & Fire Departments, Massachusetts State Police, FBI, ATF, and other police departments and agencies who worked and collaborated around the clock to bring the perpetrators of Monday’s attack to justice. We also thank the citizens and businesses that shared images and footage with investigators in hopes of advancing the investigation.
It worked, and tonight, our community is once again safe from these two men.
None of this will bring our beloved Martin back, or reverse the injuries these men inflicted on our family and nearly two hundred others. We continue to pray for healing and for comfort on the long road that lies ahead for every victim and their loved ones.
Tonight, our family applauds the entire law enforcement community for a job well done, and trust that our justice system will now do its job.”