Agawam woman to run Boston Marathon in honor of her sister - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Agawam woman to run Boston Marathon in honor of her sister

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

An Agawam woman is preparing for the run of her lifetime.

She's running the Boston Marathon in honor of her sister, Evan, who was killed by a drunk driver weeks before her 21st birthday.

Throughout the training and the race itself, Leisl Bard is making sure Evan's spirit lives on.

The pain Leisl Bard is dealing with today is nothing compared to what her and her family have been through since May 11, 2013.

Leisl's sister, Evan, a senior nursing major at Curry College, was heading home after a wedding with her ex-boyfriend who police said was drunk behind the wheel.

"It was a very sharp underpass and he just came around too quickly, hit it wrong, and hit a tree and she died on impact.  I think our family was based so closely together and our love was just really well bound, that it didn't break us.  It brought us closer together," Leisl Bard explained.

Evan's dream was to become a nurse.

Her family created the 'EvvGirl Foundation' after she died, helping fund new technology in hospitals for families of NICU babies.

However, now, Leisl is in the fight of her life - training for the 122nd Boston Marathon and the 26 miles she will run is not just a number.

"It will be my sister's 26th birthday on May 26.  The journey has been awesome, it's been tough  I know that day will be very emotional, not only because I’m running for my sister, but the Boston Marathon in general.  It's a historic event.  It's the only time millions of people are watching you and cheering you on," Leisl Bard said.

With the support of her family and friends and running with a team from Mass. Eye and Ear, Leisl has her sights set on crossing the finish line, hoping Evan is looking down on Boylston Street.
"My hope and I kind of feel like it will happen is I’m just going to see her and her face.  I know they'll be millions of people in the crowd, but I'm just going to be focusing on Evan's face and her smile and I know she'll be cheering and I'm excited to feel that type of feeling.  It's what I've been working for every day," Leisl Bard explained.

Leisl encourages anyone who would like to donate to give to the 'EvvGirl Foundation.'  You can CLICK HERE for more information. 

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