War amputees to Boston’s injured: ‘Life’s not over’

April 28, 2013

By Oren Dorell | USA Today | usatoday.com | April 28, 2013

Veterans who lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan traveled to Boston to provide information and moral support to those seriously injured in the bombings.

BOSTON – Cameron West used two hands to lift his right leg into the SUV that would take him from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital to Boston's Logan Airport.

The move was the only visible sign, apart from West's prosthetic limb and a barely noticeable limp, that he doesn't have a right leg anymore. West, 27, stands, walks and works pretty much like a full-bodied person. And during his visit to Spaulding that's what he wanted to show amputees who were injured in the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing. Read the rest of this entry »

The BMC Brief: Amputee Marines Provide Comfort, Relief to Marathon Bombings Patients

SFF visits hospital in Boston
April 27, 2013

Hope. Inspiration. Support. That's what Marines who lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan provided to amputee victims of the Boston Marathon bombings when they visited BMC April 21. The Marines, members of Semper Fi Fund, a veteran non-profit organization that supports critically injured soldiers, met with five patients who lost limbs.

Semper Fi Fund thanks ED staff for their heroic efforts caring for patients.
“As soon as we heard about the bombings, the Marines were texting me that we had to come to Boston and visit with the amputee victims,” says Karen Guenther, President and Founder, Semper Fi Fund. “They knew they could help.” Read the rest of this entry »

Boston Globe: Marines’ Visit Brings Hope And Laughter

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April 27, 2013

By Eric Moskowitz | The Boston Globe | bostonglobe.com | April 23, 2013

Looking up from her hospital bed through tears, she is at first morose and mournful, six days after losing both of her legs below the knee.

"I can't do anything right now," Celeste Corcoran says, voice sodden.

That is why the two Marines are here: Between them, they lost three legs and part of a hand in Afghanistan in separate bomb blasts in 2010, their agony then just as unimaginable, their futures just as uncertain.

But the Marines brim with vitality now -- smiling, laughing, living examples of overcoming pain and loss like this, standing before Corcoran atop artificial legs purposefully exposed beneath shorts. Read the rest of this entry »

CNN: Marine amputee has walked in marathon victims’ shoes

April 26, 2013

Gabe Martinez is a member of Team Semper Fi, and he recently traveled with the Semper Fi Fund to visit the patients who were injured in the Boston Marathon bombing.

By Gregory Wallace, Jake Tapper | CNN | thelead.blogs.cnn.com | April 26, 2013

When the ground exploded under Gabe Martinez’s feet in Afghanistan three years ago, the Marine corporal’s next step set him on a journey to help others who also lost limbs.

That’s how he ended up in the Boston-area hospital room of Celeste and Sydney Corcoran on Sunday, sharing his experience as a double amputee with a mother and daughter who were seriously injured in the marathon bombing last week. Read the rest of this entry »

CNN: Tragedy in Boston – How to help

April 23, 2013

By Rebecca Angel Baer and Katie Walmsley | CNN | cnn.com | April 23, 2013

CNN – Patriots Day is the third Monday in April marking the anniversary of the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. It is also the date for the Boston Marathon every year. It is meant to be a joyful celebration for the city, but yesterday that all changed.

Tragedy struck and lives were changed forever after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon. Instead of celebrating the city, a nation now mourns the loss of three and the injuries of more than 100. But true to the American spirit, there are people and organizations on the ground helping the victims, and you can join their efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

Veteran amputees visit bombing victims at Boston hospitals

April 23, 2013

By Healio | healio.com | April 23, 2013

A group of amputee veterans visited the victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, which killed three and injured more than 175 people, according to the Boston Medical Center Facebook page.

“We are happy to report that all of our amputation patients are nearly completed,” Jeffrey Kalish, MD, director of endovascular surgery at Boston Medical Center, stated during a press conference on April 22. “These patients are starting the process of both physical and mental rehabilitation, which is really going to be the next step in their care.” Read the rest of this entry »

Bloomberg: Amputee Veterans Bring Message of Hope to Boston Victims

April 23, 2013

By Drew Armstrong | Bloomberg | bloomberg.com | April 23, 2013

B.J. Ganem lost a leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq while serving in the Marines. Bobby Donnelly lost his after a high-altitude parachute jump.

When the explosions went off in Boston last week, ripping through the crowd and injuring more than 260 people, the two ex- soldiers and three other veterans quickly flew to Boston to meet with the victims who lost limbs. Their goal: To bring a message of hope to the survivors, showing them how active they could be despite their injuries, Ganem said in an interview. Read the rest of this entry »

Bloomberg: Boston Bombing Victims Start Rehab, Meet Amputee Veterans

April 22, 2013

By Shannon Pettypiece & Drew Armstrong | Bloomberg | bloomberg.com | April 22, 2013

Patients who lost limbs in the Boston Marathon bombings started using walkers to move around Boston Medical Center, met with amputee veterans and began to prepare for prosthetic legs. Read the rest of this entry »

The Wall Street Journal: FBI Returns Boston Marathon Bombing Site to City

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April 22, 2013

By BEN KESLIN G | The Wall Street Journal | wsj.com | April 22, 2013

BOSTON – A week after the Boston Marathon bombings, the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday returned control of the crime scene to the city, as local businesses and Bostonians tried to return to normalcy.

Mayor Thomas Menino earlier announced a five-point plan to open much of the Back Bay neighborhood a week after two bombs killed three people and injured more than 170 last Monday near the marathon finish line. Authorities had cut off access to street and pedestrian traffic to a large swath of the area near Copley Square after the bombings, citing the needs of the investigation and possible contamination. Read the rest of this entry »

USA Today: Disfigured veteran deals with disrespect at home

Ronny Porta
April 22, 2013

The Semper Fi Fund is proud to support Ronny Porta on his life-long road to recovery!

By Gregg Zoroya and Alan Gomez | USA Today | usatoday.com | April 25, 2013

BELTSVILLE, MD. – Six years have passed since a roadside bomb set Ronny "Tony" Porta on fire in Iraq when he was 20, and he's still trying to find his way home.

Story Highlights boxEach reflection in the mirror bears witness to why that is not easy.

Every stranger who points or stares, every teenager who mocks with the word "monster" or couple that whisper behind his back that the disfigurement is the price for invading a country, tells Porta he hasn't quite left the battlefield behind.

"This is home for me," says Porta, 26, who grew up in suburban-Washington Beltsville after his family emigrated from Peru. "But sometimes, it's kind of hard saying, 'I am home.'"

Two months ago, a man approached Porta in a Home Depot. He stood studying the burns on Porta's face and asked if a car accident was to blame. Porta, wearing a Marine Corps sweatshirt, said, no, it was an IED explosion in Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »

Giving to Boston’s victims: How to choose a charity

April 19, 2013

By Barbara Bogaev | Marketplace | marketplace.org | April 19, 2013

Between the bombing in Boston and the deadly explosion in Texas there are hundreds of Americans still in the hospital, many of them facing large hospital and rehab costs. After tragedies like these, home-grown charities usually pop up immediately to help with expenses. Ken Berger, president and CEO of Charity Navigator, a website which ranks philanthropic organizations based on performance, joins us to talk about donating. Read the rest of this entry »

Where to donate to aid Boston Marathon bombing victims

April 18, 2013

By David Riley | Herald News | heraldnews.com | April 18, 2013

Fundraising to aid the victims of Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing continues to ramp up.
Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office has warned people to donate carefully and check out charities to make sure they are legitimate before contributing. Read the rest of this entry »

Ex-Marine to help in Boston; amputee wants to assist people who survived injuries

April 18, 2013

By PAT SCHNEIDER | The Capital Times | madison.com | April 18, 2013

B.J. Ganem of Reedsburg, seen here last September, is heading to Boston to help those who lost limbs in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings.

The first response to the amputation of a limb in an explosion — from the devices that have injured hundreds of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to the bombs that took limbs from a reported 13 people at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday — may be euphoria, B.J. Ganem of Reedsburg says. Read the rest of this entry »

America’s Fund to Aid Boston Marathon Victims, Offer Immediate Financial Support for Recovery

April 17, 2013

By Alicia Selliti | PRWeb | prweb.com | April 17, 2013

Washington, DC – In the wake of Monday’s tragedy in Boston, the nation mourns the lives we lost, and grieves for the injured and their families. These are the first days in what may be a long road to recovery; and America’s Fund will be there to help. The charity program, administered by the veteran non-profit Semper Fi Fund, will be sending staff, volunteers, and amputees wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan to Boston to provide encouragement, guidance, and immediate financial support to victims and their families. Read the rest of this entry »

CBS News segment features Semper Fi Fund

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March 21, 2013

In commemoration of the 10 year anniversary of the Iraq invasion, CBS news correspondent David Martin revisited the story of Sergeant Eddie Wright, one of the first Marines helped by the Semper Fi Fund. Eddie, a double amputee, opens up to David about the new battles he is fighting at home, and the challenges he faces both emotionally and physically on a daily basis. The Semper Fi Fund was there when Eddie was first injured in 2004 and continues to support him and his family today in a number of different ways, including counseling that saved his marriage. Read the rest of this entry »