On the afternoon of April 15, Gina DiMartino ’03 (Business Administration) lined up with her family to watch her mother cross the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. At 2:49 p.m., two bombs exploded nearby, killing three people and injuring 265. Gina and her brother, Peter DiMartino, are among those left to cope with the emotional, physical and spiritual aftermath of that day’s traumatic events. Shrapnel cut Gina’s leg near her knee, severing a main artery and two nerves. Peter’s Achilles tendon was badly damaged, and he suffered burns from the explosion.
After seven months of healing from this life-altering event, Gina is focused on what’s next. The 32-year-old is making progress at physical therapy, rebuilding her strength at the gym and volunteering on a regular basis at Northridge Church. A slimmer brace allows her to wear shoes now, and doctors are predicting that she may be able to function without a brace by February. By spring, Gina and her parents are planning a move to North Carolina to be closer to Gina’s sister, Kim, and her family.
“I will miss my friends and my church here in Rochester, but I think this move is a much-needed fresh start for our family,” Gina said. “It’s a chance to start over new, and I’m looking forward to that.”
Once she is settled in her new home, Gina plans to take her career in a different direction. After nine years of climbing the ranks at Starbucks, the business graduate hopes to find a position in the arts that also puts her M.B.A. from Liberty University to use. She is also looking forward to further developing her faith in a new church. The Boston Marathon bombing has changed Gina — not only physically, but also spiritually.
“My faith became very real, as opposed to something that I followed,” she said. “With no strength of my own, I had to rely on God’s strength, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness.”
She also credits her supporters — from Roberts friends to her church, for her positive outlook throughout the healing process.
“It’s crucial to surround yourself with a strong community of believers,” Gina said. “Those are the people who deliver meals, volunteer, drive six hours to see you in the hospital. They show up when you need it most.”