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BOSTON, Mass. – When Dave Fortier, father of Emmanuel College women's lacrosse player Elizabeth Fortier, crossed the Boston Marathon finish line in 2013, his family was on Boylston Street cheering him on. Moments after completing his first-ever marathon, the first of two pipe bombs exploded, and chaos ensued in the streets of Boston. While that day was filled with tragedy, Fortier and his family have used it to build something that continues to unite and connect people around the globe, One World Strong.

Fortier was one of the many injured runners during that Boston Marathon bombing, suffered shrapnel wounds from the first explosion. Through his journey to healing, One World Strong was born.

In the days following the Boston Marathon bombings, those who survived the attack received an amazing outpouring of love and support from people just like you throughout the world. Fortier will never forget how members of the Semper Fi Fund—a group of veterans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan—traveled to Boston to provide one-on-one mentorship and guidance to survivors who sustained similar injuries to their own.

It helped people like Fortier imagine the possibility of a positive future when they needed it most. And the long-term relationships that ensued also allowed them to move through the healing process, both physically and emotionally, in a much faster way. 

Fortier and his team are deeply grateful for the support they received in their darkest hours, and recognize they now have the very unique ability to "pay it forward" by providing this invaluable service to others which is how One World Strong was born.

One World Strong's goal is to build an international community of survivors, dedicated to helping others who are impacted by terrorism, hate or trauma in their time of need.

One World Strong's mission is to establish a vibrant international community of survivors of terrorism, hate crimes, or traumatic events that provides peer-to-peer hope, support and mentorship to anyone impacted by these events.

When Fortier's daughter Elizabeth enrolled at Emmanuel, she started a One World Strong club to help spread the organizations message in the EC community.

"It's something that I believe in and am proud to be a part of," said Fortier. "The connections that we've made are life-long and it's incredible to see what the power of love can do."

This coming weekend, One World Strong is hosting the One World Marathon and invites members of the Emmanuel Community to get involved and join a team!

The One World Marathon was created with the assistance of partners from around the world. It is designed to unite people without regard to borders, ethnic backgrounds, religions, race or politics

One World Strong Foundation embodies the core principles of connection and co-operation, supporting the belief that people around the world should work together toward common goals.

To join a team with the rest of the Emmanuel College Athletic Community, visit https://www.oneworldmarathon.org/ and click "Teams". Search Emmanuel College Athletics and sign up to pledge any distance that you can complete between now and Monday evening when the Boston Marathon concludes.

The Emmanuel Saints are One World Strong!