Jeremy Richman made it his mission to spare other parents his unbearable loss.
Now another father has been inspired to carry on his legacy.
“Compassion is the ability to feel somebody else’s suffering,” Richman once said.
It was that definition of compassion that once drove Richman to form The Avielle Foundation, named for his daughter Avielle Rose Richman, who was 6 years old at the time of the 2012 shooting. The foundation was dedicated to preventing violence and building compassion through neuroscience research.
In the wake of Richman’s suicide, another father and his son were moved to take his message of compassion and run with it.
“To show how the ripple effects of these kind of tragedies and how we can never really forget them,” said Dan Friedman.
“What happened to Jeremy was just unspeakable, and it was important to me to support him,” said Rob Friedman.
Rob Friedman’s the head of sponsorship and event marketing for John Hancock, and has made the Boston Marathon a family affair for more than 20 years.
“Being right on the finish line every year. Or sometimes I’ve run it or sometimes my sister’s run it,” Dan said.
Down to his last available charity bib, Rob Friedman knew he wanted it to go to the Avielle Foundation. The only question is who would run on such short notice.
“My first thought was my son Dan, because he’s in perpetual great shape, marathon shape,” Rob said. “And I called him up and said, told him my idea, and asked him ‘What do you think?’ And he said ‘Dad, I’ll do this.'”
Given two and half weeks to train and fundraise for a marathon most spend months prepping for, Dan’s taking the sprint to the start line in stride, with Jeremy and Avielle on his mind.
“I don’t know what kind of marathon shape I’m in, or not, I think because of what it’s for, that really helps with all I’ve got to do is put one foot in front of the other,” Dan said.
To donate to the Friedman’s fundraising efforts, visit their CrowdRise page.