The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation

On April 15, 2013, Gillian Reny stood near the finish line of the Boston Marathon with her parents, Steven and Audrey Epstein Reny, waiting for her sister, Danielle, to finish the race. Then two bombs went off and a beautiful day turned to heartbreaking tragedy for the Renys and all of Boston.

When first responders rushed the Renys to the Brigham, Audrey and Steven were treated for minor injuries while doctors and nurses worked heroically to save Gillian’s life. In the process, they also saved both of her legs—a miraculous outcome. Today, more than five years after the marathon bombings, Gillian continues her journey toward recovery and serves as a global ambassador for the Stepping Strong Center.

Turning Tragedy into Hope

Inspired by Gillian’s resilience—and forever grateful to the Brigham team that saved her life—the Reny family established the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund in February 2014. Less than two years later, building on the incredible growth and momentum of the fund, Brigham President Betsy Nabel, MD, announced her intention to expand the fund from a virtual program into a physical hub dedicated to collaborative efforts in trauma research and recovery. The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation opened officially in January 2017 in the Hale Building for Transformative Medicine.

The mission of The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation is to catalyze multidisciplinary collaborations that inspire groundbreaking innovation, effective prevention, and compassionate intervention to transform care for civilians and military heroes who endure traumatic injuries and events.

Support Our Work

Running Program

For more information about giving to the Stepping Strong Center or a specific physician or scientist, please contact Justine Bryar, Associate Director of Development, at (617) 424-4247 or


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH