by: Sarah Rosario Updated:
DAVIDSON, N.C. - A group from Davidson College will fly to Boston this weekend to cheer on graduate and baseball alumnus J.P. Craven. Craven was at the finish line waiting for his father to cross when the first blast went off at last year's marathon.
Craven will be running in the race for a cause.
As Craven gets ready to take on the Boston marathon, he's going with the support of his former baseball team, classmates and teachers at Davidson.
It's just some of the support he's relied on since the bombings. The first explosion knocked him to the ground.
"I realized I was bleeding and realized I had to get out of there, which is when I started running," Craven said.
Craven found help at a Boston Medical Center tent nearby. A piece of shrapnel had hit him in the head and ear, and another piece was lodged in his nose. He asked medics to call his parents, and his dad, who hadn't finished the race yet, ran straight there.
"My dad ended up running there from where he got stuck about a half mile away," he said.
Several surgeries and nearly a weeklong hospital stay followed. Now Craven has turned his injury into a mission to give back to the hospital that saved his life.
He's formed a team of eight, including his dad and two friends from Davidson, to run in the race. They've spent the last year raising money to refurbish the trauma unit and emergency room at Boston Medical Center.
"It makes me feel pretty good that I'm a small part of the bigger picture," said Pete Kidwell.
Kidwell and at least a dozen Davidson students will leave for Boston Friday. While Pete is running in the race, the others will be there for support.
In cellphone video sent to Eyewitness News, JP talked about how grateful he is for the support.
"It really was just a blessing to have everybody from all the different communities -- my high school community, my college community," Craven said.
Craven's team of eight is among 178 runners raising money for Boston Medical Center, and so far they're leading the pack with more than $145, 000.
They're hoping to raise $175,000 by Monday.
Boston Medical Center has raised $787,000 so far and is hoping to raise $1 million before this year's marathon on Monday.
If you'd like to give to Craven's team, click here.