Bay area charity offers help, hope to Boston bomb victims - FOX 13 News

Bay area charity offers help, hope to Boston bomb victims

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The heart of downtown Boston is slowly reopening. Business owners and the people who live on historic Boylston Street were let back into the area today, escorted by police.

It will be some time before things are back to normal. The six-block area has been cordoned off ever since two bombs killed three people and wounded 264 more.

Some of the people dealing with life-changing injuries and amputations got a visit from two men from Tampa Bay the last two days.

"Who needs sleep?" laughed Steve Chamberland. He is also an amputee, and his charity, is helping victims get their lives back on-track.

"Everything's good man, the weather's just a little colder than Florida," he said.

Chamberland says he has been running on adrenaline for days now. He has been helping the Nugent family in Palm Harbor, getting their daughter Ireland prosthetic feet after a lawn mower accident. Then the bombs went off in his hometown, and he decided to take his charity, 50 Legs, to Boston to help shoulder the costs of new limbs for the victims of the bombings.

"Just being able to give a hand back to your hometown you know?" said Chamberland. "All the great stuff we're doing in Florida, it's like when something tragic like this happens, it's nice to be able to help them out."

He is helping people like Bostonians Celeste and Sydney Corcoran, a mother and daughter who were injured in the blast. Celeste lost both legs, and she got some encouraging words from a Marine in the same condition.

"Yeah, I can't do anything right now," she said tearfully to the Marine.

"Right now, yes," he said in the video. "But I'm telling you with all my heart, you're gonna be more independent than you ever were."

"We actually had her laughing and it was a lot of fun in the room," said Chamberland. "So just to set their mind at ease for the half-hour, 45 minutes we were there, I just think it's nice to have a family smile again and just know that there's more."

They also met with Jeff Bauman. He is the man in a horrifying photograph seen around the world, where he is being wheeled away from the bombing scene, with one leg largely blown off.

"Just stating that positive attitude that we spread to them and tell them, you know, life ain't over as an amputee man, it's just the next step in your life," said Chamberland, who traveled with Tanner Kuth from Pasco County. We introduced you to him on FOX13 last week. He is also an ambassador for Disabled Sports America.

"It's a great compliment to 50 Legs," said Kuth. "Because after we help them get moving with the prosthetics and stuff, DSUSA has the funding to get them out, and take them water skiing or take them snowboarding or if they want to do downhill sit skiing, There's so many things out there."

And it's not just about getting new limbs. Everything in their lives, from their homes to their cars, will now have to be transformed, to adjust to a new life with wheelchairs and prosthetics.

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