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(NECN: Boston, Bridget Blythe) – The bombs went off at the 2013 Boston Marathon right outside the Forum Restaurant on Boylston Street. On that day, Forum employee Erinn Fleming was at the restaurant for a fundraising party on behalf of former New England Patriots player Joe Andruzzi’s cancer foundation.
“The bomb was right in front of Forum and my heart dropped,” Andruzzi remembered.
Nearly 365 days later, Fleming is ready to run the 2014 marathon.
“I know that I have said I would never run a marathon,” said Fleming. “And here I am. And I’m one of those people.”
Andruzzi is one of those people, too, being called a hero for what he did in the moments after the attack. He says his wife, Jen, pointed out the first people he saw that needed help.
“As we were coming through, Jen pointed out there were three young girls trying to carry a woman on their back, her feet dragging behind them. I ran over. I said ‘let me help.’ I scooped her up and walked her down the block to an ambulance,” Andruzzi remembered.
The Andruzzi Foundation will again host a marathon watch party at Forum this year.
“We can't live in fear. We have to go out there and enjoy the day cheer on runners,” Andruzzi said.
“When Boylston transforms from roadway to raceway on Marathon Monday, Fleming is prepared for every mile of the 26.2 run, except for the final stretch where she will pass Forum.
“That will be emotional,” Fleming said. “That's when I will think about last year and I’m hoping my friends here at Forum who will be working will stop what they're doing and come outside and cheer me on.”
They will cheer for her accomplishment, for the courage of people like Andruzzi who helped instead of leaving last year, and they'll cheer for the change that's affected so many people connected to the bombings who have vowed to be Boston Strong.
Fleming will be running for the Joe Andruzzi Cancer Foundation and hopes to raise 10 thousand dollars.
Andruzzi will have his marathon watch party at forum on April 21 and he expects a full house.