Strength and Resilience
Boston Marathon bombing survivor shares her story to benefit local children’s non-profit
Rebekah Gregory was in Boston with her son Noah to see her boyfriend’s mom finish the Boston Marathon race on April 15, 2013.
She was unaware that two brothers, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had also been to the race with much different motivations. They were there for the end of the race, too, but to see the result of their terrorist scheme. At 2:49 p.m., near the finish line, the two pressure cooker bombs the Tsarnaev brothers had constructed and placed there exploded seconds apart.
Three people were killed, hundreds were injured, and 17 of those lost limbs.
Gregory and her son Noah were both injured. Noah had less severe injuries, which required a five-day hospital stay. His mom was more seriously affected. Both of her legs were injured as well as a hand. After many months and 17 surgeries, she lost her leg, but not her determination.
For the past 10 years, she has aided her difficult recovery by turning her trauma into education for others. Now a much sought-after speaker, author and coach, she is also the founder of Rebekah’s Angels Foundation, a not-for-profit that works with children and families who have faced their own traumas.
She has traveled worldwide to share her story of strength and resilience with audiences. With humor, she shares the reality of trauma from a deep and personal experience.
On Wednesday, Oct. 5, Gregory will be at the Gingerbread House Children’s Advocacy Center Partners in Prevention Luncheon at Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino in Shreveport to share her story with a local audience. The event will be held from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online via the website, www. gingerbreadhousecac.org, or by calling their office at (318) 674-2900. Individual tickets are $125, and table sponsorships are also available.
The luncheon is a major fundraiser for the organization, which operates to lessen the trauma experienced by child abuse victims while criminal allegations are being investigated and to provide support for the child victim throughout the investigation, prosecution and treatment phases of a case.
Executive Director Jessica Milan Miller and Sophia Herron Sanders, director of Child Life and Community Engagement, stated in a sponsorship letter for the event that joining the effort provides an “opportunity to make our city a better, safer place for our children and youth. Your charitable donation not only helps over 900 child abuse victims per year, but also helps fund our prevention programs, which reach over 35,000 children and adults annually in the hopes of preventing abuse in the first place.”
“The Partners in Prevention Luncheon is so important to us because it allows us to raise awareness about the services the Gingerbread House offers our community and allows us to raise unrestricted dollars that we can then leverage to receive additional grant funding … all with the common goal of serving child abuse victims at no cost to the victims’ families,” Miller said.
The Gingerbread House is a 501(c)(3) community-based non-profit organization. Gingerbread House works with law enforcement, child protective services, the district attorneys’ offices, and medical and mental health professionals to investigate, prosecute and treat cases of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse, including cases of commercial sexual exploitation, pornography and human trafficking. It is also an Accredited Child Advocacy Center with National Children’s Alliance and has served the northwest Louisiana community for 24 years.
All Gingerbread House’s services are provided at no cost to the victim’s family or the referring agency. Gingerbread House also provides training for professionals working in the field of child abuse, as well as community education regarding child abuse and its prevention.
For more information on The Gingerbread House and its services, you can go to www.gingerbreadhousecac.org.