The Irish American family of murdered Boston marathon boy Martin Richard have announced a charitable foundation in his honor.
Martin was killed, his sister Jane, an Irish dancer lost her leg and their mother Denise suffered brain injuries from shrapnel. The bomb left by the Tsarnaev brothers went off in a backpack close to the finish line where the Richards family was standing.
Bill and Denise Richards recently attended the IrishCentral / Irish Emigrant event in honor of Boston Marathon heroes including police, firemen and caregivers.
In their statement they said: “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 OK. 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.”