skip to Main Content

The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation is immensely grateful to the tens of thousands of people across the globe who are helping to turn the Boston Marathon tragedy into hope for trauma patients. Together we are fueling innovation, creating much needed awareness, and proving that the goodness of the human spirit prevails.

Medical Leaders

“Five years ago, the Stepping Strong Center provided me with the support and resources to develop an innovative amputation procedure that has already changed the lives of many. My new role as the director of strategy and innovation will allow me to return the favor by helping other physician-scientists pursue novel treatment strategies for patients affected by traumatic injuries.” —Matthew J. Carty, MD, Director of Strategy and Innovation

“The Stepping Strong Center was established following the 2013 Boston Marathon tragedy—an event that turned Boston’s Back Bay into a war zone. Among the powerful lessons learned was the need to improve bidirectional translation of medical innovations for traumatic injuries, whether they are sustained in the battlefield or on city streets.” —Eric Goralnick, MD, Stepping Strong Innovator Awards Recipient

“It’s always been my vision that the Stepping Strong Center become the force that connects physicians and scientists who may not otherwise have the chance to solve problems together.” —Mitchel B. Harris, MD, Medical Co-Director

“Stepping Strong is a collaborative effort dedicated to bringing new therapies to trauma patients through state-of-the-art resources and a passion to change the paradigm in trauma care.” —Jeff Karp, PhD, Stepping Strong Medical Executive Committee

“The Stepping Strong Center initiative boldly elevates trauma and research care, providing extraordinary opportunities for transformative innovations that are leading the way in turning tragedy into hope for countless individuals in need.” —Betsy Nabel, MD, President, Brigham Health

Ali Salim

“I am proud to be leading the center as we launch our new Stepping Strong Injury Prevention and Intervention program at the Brigham. Traumatic injury is the leading cause of death for children and adults up to the age of 45 in the United States—a shocking statistic that affects everyone, regardless of age, race, or economic status. By educating the community and inspiring advocacy, we aim to reduce the number and severity of traumatic injuries in Boston and across the country.” —Ali Salim, MD, Medical Co-Director

“It has been an honor to educate, guide, and mentor the Stepping Strong Plastic Surgery Trauma fellows. These talented individuals have taken what they have learned about the management of complex upper- and lower-extremity wounds and helped spread the Stepping Strong message to other institutions in Boston and across the country. One former fellow joined the faculty at the Brigham and even won a Stepping Strong Innovator Award last year.” —Christian Sampson, MD, Director, Stepping Strong Plastic Surgery Fellowship


“When I think about the pain I was in before the Ewing Amputation procedure as compared to now, I am so hopeful. Now I am experiencing a healing pain instead of a persistent pain that wasn’t going away. Dr. Carty has been so supportive and helpful, and I am so grateful to the Stepping Strong Center for investing in his work.” —Brandon Korona, U.S. Army Veteran and Ewing Amputation Patient

“When I’m connected to the robotic ankle, I can use it as if it’s my very own. It’s a very natural transition going from no foot to all of a sudden having my foot back. I don’t have to retrain my brain or retrain my muscles to do anything. In addition, the muscle definition is much stronger. There’s much more tissue there. My leg hasn’t atrophied away to skin and bones, which happens quite a lot with amputations.” —Jim Ewing, Inaugural Ewing Amputation Patient

“I was in the army and was injured jumping out of a helicopter. After three years of limb reconstruction and salvage surgeries, I was in constant pain and felt my world becoming smaller. The Ewing Amputation changed my life. Six weeks after the surgery, I got back into biking. I rode 40 miles the other day. I am excited to share that I was able to give back to Stepping Strong, which made this all possible, by running and raising money for the center.” —Rebecca Mann, U.S. Army Veteran and Ewing Amputation Patient

Reny Family

“It is remarkable to reflect on how far we have come since establishing Stepping Strong with a vision to transform trauma research and care. In just a few years, a fund has given rise to a physical center, seed money has been leveraged into larger federal funding, and a small group of family and friends dedicated to changing outcomes for trauma patients has grown into a global community of physician-scientists, runners, and philanthropists.” — Audrey Epstein Reny

“I ran the 2014 Boston Marathon for Gillian—my baby sister, my best friend, and my greatest gift. I ran for the community of supporters, survivors, responders, doctors, and nurses who saved our family in myriad ways. And I ran to finally cross that finish line in 2014 with the conviction that there is so much good in this world.” —Danielle Reny

“I am elated by the vision for the Stepping Strong Center, which really captures the essence of what my family and I had hoped for from the start of this journey. It means so much to have both new and continued support from the many friends, volunteers, and donors who have partnered with us every step of the way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” —Gillian Reny

Community Leaders

“The Stepping Strong Center has energized us to raise awareness for trauma research. Two of our children ran the Boston Marathon and the rest of us participated in the 5K race. We’re delighted to be part of the continuing effort to improve care for people with trauma injuries.” —Sarah and Jeffrey Beir, Stepping Strong Advisory Board

“As a dad, I was stunned to learn the extent to which young people are at risk of traumatic injuries, whether as a result of a car accident, a devastating act of violence, or through combat injury. We must fund research and care programs that will enable trauma patients to have the best possible outcomes, and Stepping Strong is taking the lead to ensure this happens.” —Francis Claro, Stepping Strong Advisory Board

“We have supported many important charities in the city; however, our gift to support a Stepping Strong Innovator has been one of our most meaningful and impactful. In five short years, we have seen our initial investment in a research idea evolve into a clinical procedure that has changed the lives of 15 patients. It has been a remarkable honor for us to be connected to Dr. Carty’s transformative work.” —Stephanie and John Connaughton, Stepping Strong Advisory Board

“We work with entrepreneurs to help them transform their industries. We mention this because we are so impressed with the brilliance of Stepping Strong—the way it is structured, the global impact it has had, and its potential to truly transform the future of trauma research and care.” —David and Nina Fialkow, Stepping Strong Advisory Board

“As is often the case in medical philanthropy, our interest was both deepened and focused by a recent trauma in our family, which caused our nephew to become paraplegic. Speaking with leaders at the Brigham, we learned there is real interest in this work, and felt that Stepping Strong would be a terrific vehicle to catalyze research in this area. We are confident that the work we’re supporting will, at a minimum, contribute to advancing knowledge toward an eventual therapy.” —Michael Eisenson, Stepping Strong Advisory Board

“I went to the 2013 Marathon as a spectator and former soldier with my three best friends. It started out as a beautiful day. Although unfortunate tragedy ensued, I am thankful I kept a level head and was able to help with the initial treatment of Gillian’s trauma wounds. I still remember telling Audrey that Gillian was going to be okay. The Renys didn’t have any idea who I was. But for some reason they trusted me; they believed what I said.” —John Mackie, Stepping Strong Hero Award

“It was exciting to participate in the Stepping Strong Innovator Awards judging process. We were able to witness firsthand how a terrible event like the Boston Marathon bombings can be transformed into something so positive and with such great promise for medical breakthroughs. This work is well worth a long-term investment; we will be giving to the Stepping Strong Center forever.” —Carroll and Bob Pierce, Stepping Strong Advisory Board

“I’m so honored to fund a Stepping Strong Innovator Award. These awards recognize medical heroes who are turning their brilliant ideas for addressing trauma into reality. The center gives researchers with talent, passion, and dedication the opportunity to transform possibility into real approaches that will change trauma patients’ lives for the better.” —Elinor Svenson, Stepping Strong Advisory Board


“As members of the Stepping Strong Marathon Team, we have been inspired by the Reny family’s vision to create a world-class trauma care research facility at the Brigham. By joining the Stepping Strong Founders Circle, our hope is to help improve the prognosis and decrease the suffering of trauma patients worldwide.” —Jeanne and John Blasberg

“When I discovered the Stepping Strong team, I was sold. I thought to myself, ‘I need to do this.’ I’ve seen firsthand how the funds raised help doctors and researchers develop better ways to help and heal patients. Being a part of the Stepping Strong team provided me the opportunity to give back in a different way.” —Kimberly Cardillo

This was my fourth marathon and my second with Stepping Strong. It’s the best team I’ve been part of—it’s like a family. The most memorable part was running with teammates who became great friends.” Theresa Latona

“I was thrilled to run for Stepping Strong and support its mission to give people a chance to literally get back on their feet and make the impossible possible. I’m a physician, so this is very close to my heart.” Edgard Vera, MD, FACP

“Trauma is killing a lot of people and Stepping Strong is sending a powerful message in response. I am so excited to support them as they work hard to improve the lives of patients and their families.” —Juan Herrera-Escobar, MD

“I was introduced to Stepping Strong when my friend, Jackie, was injured in a horrific boating accident and tragically lost one of her legs. I ran the marathon in 2018 to support Jackie and all others affected by trauma and in support of the hospital that was there for her through it all.” —Joann O’Brien

“In 1993, I had a traumatic injury to my right arm resulting in severe nerve and tendon damage and the loss of four fingers. I ran the Boston Marathon with Stepping Strong to give back and say thank you to the Brigham doctors and nurses who took such good care of me.” —Stephen Teague

“Marathon Monday 2022 was easily one of the best days of my life. Running with the Stepping Strong team was an amazing experience. Thanks to the Renys for creating such an amazing fund and to the Brigham staff for creating high team spirit and offering help every step of the way. I was truly honored to raise money for such an impactful cause.” —Rachael Lindblom

“I’m hooked on both running Boston and this Stepping Strong Marathon team.” —James Helman

“Running with Team Stepping Strong was truly the FULL package, and I will recommend it to anyone I meet who is thinking about running Boston. Not only was it really well organized; I also met some really great people, had the opportunity to learn about their unique stories, and was excited to run for a team with such an incredible mission.” —Meghan Pfau

“Thank you to everyone at the Stepping Strong Center! Your inspiration, dedication, and team support were invaluable to helping me go from ‘start to finish.'” —Michael Bilotta

“It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Stepping Strong Marathon team. I will continue to do my small part to represent the Stepping Strong mission and brand every opportunity that I have. What a thrill.” —Dan Greco

Back To Top