Cory Schneider was at the Vancouver Canucks team hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 15th when news broke there had been a bombing during the Boston Marathon.
His heart sank.
In a flash the 27-year-old Marblehead, Massachusetts, product was reaching out to friends and family to make sure his loved ones were safe; his fiancé Jill, also a Massachusetts native, was in Vancouver doing the same.
Being a game day for Schneider, he put as much effort and attention into the catastrophic situation as he could before switching gears to work. By all accounts, the couple had no connection to the victims of the bombing.
That all changed when more details surfaced the following day.
Jill got word one of the three people confirmed dead was her friend Krystle Campbell, who she knew through her close friends Erin and Elliot (high school chums who later married).
Erin and Elliot were best friends with Krystle, who was the maid of honour at their wedding two years ago, which Jill attended.
This ordeal was difficult enough for Cory and Jill before it became personal.
“Jill’s had a real tough time with it having known her, and knowing how close she was to her friend Erin,” said Schneider, after morning skate Saturday. “It’s been pretty tough. Boston is a small town, even in greater Boston somebody always knows somebody.”
According to the New York Times, Krystle attended the Boston Marathon almost every year to watch the runners cross the finish line. She just happened to be standing in the wrong place at the wrong time and because of her close proximity to the bombing, her injuries were too severe to overcome.
With a suspect now in custody following a day of citywide lockdown in Boston, Schneider hopes things will slowly return to normal, but understands it’s a tough process.
Jill has found the strength to handle the loss of a friend in the best way she can and Boston will too.
“Boston is a strong, tough city. I’m not sure how much of that I have in me, but a lot of friends and a lot of people I know from the city have tons of fight in them. This is something that a city like that will take personally, and they did and they found who was responsible.
“The police, the FBI, the first responders, everyone involved did a great job getting on top of this and keeping it under control and you probably need some luck to catch somebody like that, but their diligence and hard work, they kept a lot of people alive the day of the bombing and then helping track this kid down. It makes you proud to be from the city, they vowed that they were going to find the people that did this, and they did.”
This is the second tragedy within the past year that Schneider has been personally affected by. Last July during the theatre shootings in Aurora, Colorado, Schneider’s close friend had something come up at the last minute and was unable to attend, so he passed his ticket to a co-worker, who sustained severe injuries.
Petra Anderson, the co-worker injured, made a miraculous recovery. Krystle has already been taken and the Boston Marathon tragedy cannot be reversed, but support is making a world of difference.
Schneider is behind The One Fund Boston in honour of Krystle and everyone affected, and is urging you to help with your donations, thoughts, and/or prayers.
For more information on how to lend your support, visit onefundboston.org.
“Canucks fans were great during the Aurora shooting, they raised a lot of money for my cousin’s co-worker, and I hate to go back to the well again and keep asking, but if anybody is wondering how they can help or what they can do, The One Fund Boston is one of the best ways.”
Jill reached out to me this afternoon to tell me a fund has been started in Krystle's honour. Donations can be sent to the Krystle M. Campbell Memorial Fund, 25 Park Street, Medford, MA, 02155.
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