Newlyweds and avid runners Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky were standing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the bombs exploded. They each lost a leg, and Kensky’s right foot was badly hurt.
Their families said in a statement that the event shook many people’s faith in humanity but that the outpouring of support that followed restored their own.
Friends quickly set up a Web page that has raised more than $600,000 from 10,900 donations for Downes and Kensky. Others uploaded video tributes to YouTube from as far away as Istanbul, and a Facebook page filled up with wishes from friends and strangers alike.
Downes ran in the Boston Marathon in 2005. The couple had gone to the finish line this year to reminisce about that run. He, a Boston native, is finishing a doctoral degree in psychology. She is originally from California and is an oncology nurse. They met in 2006 in Washington, where Downes was working on Capitol Hill.
Downes was nicknamed “Jesus” in high school for his goodness, friends wrote on the fundraising page. Kensky, slightly older and sassy, did not seem like the most likely choice at first, they said. But they clicked.