DANVERS — Leanne Scorzoni was with a friend near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street in April, at the trash barrel where the first of two pressure cooker bombs exploded, when her friend needed to find a bathroom.
Scorzoni, 32, grew up on Riverside Street in Danversport, and when her family would go to see the marathon, it was customary to stay put on Boylston Street until most of the runners had finished. It was that way at other sporting events, too.
“You get there early, and you stay until the bitter end,” Scorzoni said.
This time, however, Scorzoni and her friend left Boylston Street, and 15 minutes later, the first bomb went off. Many of those injured in the bombings were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where Scorzoni works as an office manager.
The day has a lot of meaning for Scorzoni. As a recent convert to Islam, she has wrestled with how someone from her new faith could do such a thing. She also has wondered why she was not injured, while others she had been standing with were.
To try and turn some negative perceptions of Muslims around and do some good for children facing cancer, Scorzoni will run in the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Center team at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Scorzoni has never run a marathon, but she played soccer all through high school and college and ran track at Bishop Fenwick.
“If you can give me the chance to raise the money, I will raise the money,” Scorzoni said she wrote when applying for a spot on the team, “but, this shouldn’t be the main focal point, being a Muslim-American, I want to show people that something positive has to come from this.”
“She is very enthusiastic about running the marathon,” said her mother, Mary Lynch, who now lives in western Maine. “It means a lot to her to run it for (children’s cancer research) and what went on in Boston.”