NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City native and former NFL offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi was one of many spectators rushing to help the victims of Monday’s bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
As images emerged of the tragedy that left three dead and more than 170 wounded, one face stood out to football fans. There was Andruzzi, in a photograph by Bill Greene of the Boston Globe, carrying a woman in a light blue jacket away from the horrific scene.
Andruzzi, a survivor of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was with his wife near the finish line when the blasts went off. The Joe Andruzzi Foundation was hosting an event on Boylston Street for its team of runners raising money to assist cancer patients and bolster research.
“Marathon Monday should be about uplifting stories, personal challenges and fundraising milestones, but today’s bombings irrevocably changed that,” Andruzzi said in a statement Monday. “While I appreciate the interest in hearing our perspective on today’s horrific events, the spotlight should remain firmly on the countless individuals — first responders, medics, EMTs, runners who crossed the finish line and kept on running straight to give blood, and the countless civilians who did whatever they could to save lives. They were the true heroes. Our thoughts prayers go out to all those affected by this senseless tragedy.”
Andruzzi was born in Brooklyn and raised on Staten Island. His three brothers, all members of the FDNY, responded to the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The siblings and their retired NYPD father were honored before a Patriots-Giants preseason game at Gillette Stadium in 2011.
The 37-year-old won three Super Bowl championships in five seasons (2000-04) with the New England Patriots. He also spent two seasons each in Green Bay and Cleveland.
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