Two Boston Marathon survivors brought a boy's dream of playing football once again a little closer to reality Sunday when they presented him with a $5,000 check to help pay for a high-tech prosthetic leg.
Brothers Paul and JP Norden stood in front of a crowd of football players and fans in North Andover, Massachusetts, as they handed 11-year old Tommy Cox the donation in the hopes that the money would help the boy to one day run, play sports and engage in other activities. The donation was funded through the A Leg Forever foundation, a charity set up by the two men after each one lost a leg because of injuries they sustained from the bomb explosions at the 2013 Boston Marathon.
"He's a big part of mine and Paul's recovery," JP Norden said, according to ABC News affiliate WCVB in Boston. "When we went to meet him and talk to him about stuff we were going through a few months before, it helped us to help him."
The Nordens didn't respond to ABC News' calls for comment.
Cox lost his leg in 2013 during a boating trip when the boat he was riding on accidentally backed into him after he jumped in the water. Its propellers injured both his legs, with the left one being too damaged to save.
"For a while, he wasn't able to do anything," said Tommy's mother, Julie Cox. "He didn't get his prosthetic until April. ... He wasn't able to walk. He wasn't able to participate in certain activities."
Tommy was unavailable for comment.
Cox said her son's current prosthetic was "serviceable," allowing him to walk, but that a more highly advanced one would allow him to run and join in more activities, such as football, swimming and lacrosse.
"That's his goal," she said.
However, the cost for such a prosthetic is high, especially for the type that Cox wants. His mother said it could cost more than $100,000 and that while the most recent donation was "not huge," it helps.
"We're so appreciative of all the support the Nordens have given us all along," she said. "It's just one more thing they've done for us."
Cara Brickley, director of physical therapy and occupation therapy at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the same place where Cox spent his recovery, said there is a "tremendous range" when it comes to prosthetic costs, with most ranging from $10,000 to $80,000 or $90,000 or more.
"It would really depend on the parts," she said. "If there are different micro processors, that's gonna make it even more expensive."