The Charlotte Athletic Club, Charlotte, NC, announced the launch of the Be Strong Stay Strong fund for the family of the club's general manager and athletic director. The athletic director and her sister were severely injured in Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon.
Athletic Director Nicole Gross and her sister, Erika Brannock, a preschool teacher from the Baltimore area, suffered the most severe injuries. According to a report Wednesday in the Charlotte Observer, Gross suffered two breaks in her left leg, an ankle fracture in her right leg, torn skin and a severed Achilles’ tendon. Brannock's left leg was amputated below the knee. She also suffered a compound fracture in the right leg, a broken ankle and broken bones in her foot, the newspaper reported. Both sisters have had numerous surgeries and remain hospitalized, according to the club. General Manager Michael Gross, Nicole's husband, suffered minor injuries and has been released from the hospital, the club said.
All three were in Boston to cheer on the sisters' mother, Carol Downing, who was running in her first Boston Marathon.
One hundred percent of the donations to the Be Strong Stay Strong fund (www.bestrongstaystrong.net) will assist the Gross and Brannock families with their medical, physical and emotional needs, the club said.
"We wanted to show our support to our family members here at Charlotte Athletic Club," Nicole McAlister Beverage, membership director at Charlotte Athletic Club, said in a statement. "As you would expect, these times have been emotionally draining, and while there is a public thirst for information, we ask for continued patience and some privacy for a while as they work to recover."
The club also has requested media to refrain from using graphic photos of the family taken at the scene of the bombings. A photo of Nicole Gross immediately after the blasts was published on the cover of several major newspapers across the country.