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Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 | 2:36 a.m.
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Updated: 5:15 p.m. Saturday, June 8, 2013 | Posted: 10:50 p.m. Friday, June 7, 2013
By Erica Bryant
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
For the first time, a Charlotte woman hurt in the Boston Marathon bombings had a chance to personally thank her supporters.Eyewitness News found out how events like a 5k run on Friday night in NoDa have helped Nicole Gross get through these difficult times."I can't explain how grateful we are that there is so much support in our hometown," said Gross.Gross looked out into the crowd and got emotional seeing hundreds of runners there to show support."This is our home and I am so proud to be a part of the endurance side of Charlotte. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts," she said.Nearly 1,000 people hit the pavement for the inaugural NoDa 5k.Money raised during the event will go to a fund for Gross as she recovers from injuries suffered during the bombings in Boston. She said she still must undergo several surgeries."I have my ear and my leg surgery. Then after that it is being aggressive with physical therapy," said Gross.Tapping into the energy from events like the 5k helps Gross heal."When there are dark times that come along, looking to our left and right and seeing people helps to keep us strong and focused," said Gross."People who we have never even met come up and offer support and to know that we are not alone is really special to us," said Michael Gross.And they are special to the athletes."I know they are still far from 100 percent, but to see her out here and to get her reaction is definitely worth it," said runner Jay Barringer.Gross' message for the community is that they are all a part of something much bigger.Gross said her mom and sister are back in Baltimore.Her sister is there undergoing aggressive rehab and is preparing to receive a prosthetic for her left leg.Friday night's 5k will benefit the Be Strong Stay Strong foundation which will help the Gross family pay medical bills.
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