View this email in a web browser

Brigham & Women's Hospital - Life. Giving. Breakthroughs.
  Dept of Medicine

Reny FamilyDear ,

Not long after our family spent time at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), it became clear we wanted to give back to the brilliant community of caregivers who took such good care of our daughter Gillian following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. In February 2014, we launched the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund with an ambitious goal: to raise $3 million over five years to support life-saving research and clinical programs for patients who suffer from severe traumatic injuries.

We hoped we could count on our extended family and close friends to jumpstart the fund. However, we never expected such a generous outpouring of love and support—not only from those who are near to us, but also from the larger community. As of this writing, we are thrilled to report more than 3,600 donors have contributed $3.4 million and counting to support vital research and clinical care for patients with traumatic, athletic, military, and disease-related limb injuries. We are humbled by the response, but we know we have much work to do. We are therefore raising our fundraising goal to $5 million and expanding our vision. Our hope is to build a first-of-its-kind trauma center here at BWH, thereby establishing the hospital as the national leader in trauma care and recovery.

No words can fully express the depth of our gratitude. Together, we are turning tragedy into hope. Your continued engagement will ensure future generations of trauma specialists can help patients like Gillian regain their strength and step strong once again.

We hope you enjoy this first issue of Stepping Strong News.

All our love,
Audrey, Steven, Danielle, and Gillian


Did You Know?

“Bone healing and regeneration is the holy grail for all orthopedic interventions, not just fractures. This is true for hip replacements, ACL surgery, rotator cuff repairs, and many other procedures. Through the Stepping Strong Fund, our team hopes to achieve medical breakthroughs that will translate to better outcomes for orthopedic patients.”
Mitchel Harris, MD, Stepping Strong Research Scholar

“Bone has a remarkable regenerative capacity. But for various reasons—age, nutrition, vitamin D or hormone deficiencies, for instance—some patients have a limited capacity to heal. The Stepping Strong Research Scholars funding will help us better understand the mechanisms of bone healing, allowing patients with bony injuries to experience better and faster recoveries.”
— Julie Glowacki, PhD, Stepping Strong Research Scholar

“Two million people in the U.S. live with amputations, most starting with a wound that does not heal. By combining advanced stem cell technologies with dermal scaffolds, we hope to develop better methods of regenerating skin and healing wounds, dramatically reducing the need for amputation as well as the pain and suffering of trauma patients.”
– Dennis Orgill, MD, PhD, Stepping Strong Research Scholar


Support the Stepping Strong Fund
Stepping Strong Donate Now
Thank you for joining us! For more information or to make a gift, please contact Terry McGowan at or 617-424-4316.


Thank You for Your Support
$3.4M Raised
After the Stepping Strong Fund launched in February, gifts at every level arrived from across the country and around the world. Read more.

Research Scholars

Meet the Stepping Strong Research Scholars team and learn about plans to expand the boundaries of trauma research.

An Interview with Christian Sampson, MD

Christian Sampson, MD, one of Gillian’s surgeons and a member of the Stepping Strong Trauma Fellowship team, talks about what the fund means for his work. Read more.

Stepping Strong
Grand Rounds

Researchers and clinicians from BWH and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital meet in July to discuss challenges and solutions for limb salvage, reconstruction, and regeneration. Read more.

A Picture-Perfect Finish
Marathon Video
Fourteen Boston Marathon runners brought passion and energy to the 26.2-mile journey. Watch members of the Stepping Strong team as they cross the finish line together.