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Joe Andruzzi gained fame in Boston for his play on the New England Patriots offensive line. But he earned a place in New England's hearts forever for his response to twin explosions at the finish line of last year's Boston Marathon.
There to support his foundation to raise awareness for cancer survivors and their families, Andruzzi was thrust into the hero's role when he carried wounded spectators to ambulances in the moments after the blasts.
Andruzzi was in Hynes Convention Center on Tuesday as the city remembered and paid tribute.
"Eerie feeling, driving here today," he said. "Those thoughts trigger your memories, but knowing how much positive that came out of all these negatives, and hearing some stories this morning, the inspiring stories of the survivors and what they’ve done in a year has been truly amazing."
"How they’re thanking those who helped them, and how they’re starting foundations and funds to pay it forward, really shows how you can take a negative and make it a positive and move forward in your life," said Andruzzi, himself a lymphoma survivor.