Making sense out of something senseless: The Heather Abbott Foundation

After losing her leg in the Boston Marathon bombing, Heather Abbott decided to go beyond helping herself. She now helps other amputees to find a way back to a normal life.

How it all began
Using the limelight

Though many tragic stories go unnoticed by the general public, the circumstances surrounding Heather’s amputation went around the world. This allowed her to get an unusual amount of financial support for her prosthetics.

But Heather also realized that not everyone gets the same treatment.

“Had I not been injured in such a public way where organizations, nonprofits and people had heard about me and reached out to help, I wouldn’t have had the resources that I had to be able to afford these prosthetics.”

By the end of 2014, Heather had founded the Heather Abbott Foundation which works to fund prosthetics for amputees that are held back by the prices of prosthetics.

A focus on trauma
A difficult choice

When you want to help as many people as possible and every applicant’s story makes an impact on you, how do you choose who to fund? Turns out it’s not that easy.

“It’s something our board struggles with,” Heather says.

“Every applicant has a heartbreaking story, and we just want to help everyone, and you just wish you could help everyone. But we basically review the applications and then we vote.”

In order to narrow down the field, the Heather Abbott Foundation tries to focus on amputees they think will get the most use out of the prosthetic device. One example is Nick Nolander from Colorado, a high school teacher who lost both his feet climbing a 14,000 ft mountain, but now wants to stay in shape and keep up his two young sons.

You can check out Nick’s incredible story here.

Looking ahead

Stronger together

We’ve proud to partner up with Heather and her incredible foundation. If you’re a trauma-related amputee, you can now apply for a Levitate running blade. Just get in touch with us on our social channels or in the chat.

Check out the rest of our NGO colabs.