The Boston Marathon this year was cold, wet and very miserable this year, which made it a difficult race for the runners. But it also brought two complete strangers together.
Renee Bercury traveled to Boston from her home in Pennsylvania to watch her son compete in the race. As she stood outside in the cold rain waiting for her son, she spotted 27-year-old Steven Stallis struggling to finish the race in the harsh conditions.
She says, "He had just such a look of despair and desperation on his face." As he ran by, he was desperate for someone to give him a jacket because he was freezing. That's when Renee took off her yellow raincoat and handed it to him. He said a quick "thank you" and continued on his way.
Renee says, "He struck me as a person who was drowning and reaching his hand out for somebody to save him. It was that dramatic. It hit me that hard … so I had no qualms. It was just instinct to take the jacket off and hand it to him."
Renee has owned the coat for 20 years and has taken it along on all of her trips. But she knew someone else needed it more than she did at that time.
Steven was able to finish the race and then almost immediately went on social media trying to find the person who gave him the coat. A few days later, word got to Renee that Steven was looking for her and they were finally able to connect.
Steven told Renee that he would have never finished the race without her jacket and Renee says she burst into tears. Although she insisted that he keep the jacket, Steven said he would send it back to her. He says, "It’s been all over the country on really cool trips. Now it's crossed the Boston finish line, so it's a new story for her to have that jacket back."