SPOKANE, Wash. – Three students shot at Freeman High School helped kick off Bloomsday as the race's celebrity starters.
Gracie Jensen suffered a spinal cord injury. Jensen was recently cleared to run track again. Her mother, Jennifer, said she is grateful and continues to celebrate life alongside her.
Jensen and her friends, Emma Nees and Jordyn Goldsmyth, were celebrity starters at the race. Much like the past eight months since the shooting at Freeman, they were welcomed with open arms.
“When I would see runners or walkers turn and look at the girls, they know their story and they still care about them…it’s touching,” Jennifer said.
“Being in our small community there was a ton of support there but then when the entire Spokane community came in there was just a lot,” Jensen added.
The small gestures of support are still alive and the girls notice.
A bumper sticker on a car or a rival team showing their love has been a huge part of their healing journey. The girls said they feel loved by the entire Spokane community.
One school district even sent letters to the students at Freeman.
“It was really fun to open them [the letters] because we still knew they were supporting us months later,” Jensen said.
“It's the little things that say we have not forgotten because with the trial they still have a lot of time coming that they are still having to stay in it,” Jennifer added.
There is still plenty of inspiration today and these girls do not take it for granted.
“I just knew everything was going to be okay and that we would get through it,” Jensen said.
Jennifer expressed gratitude for the three girls and support for Amy Strahan.
“Our hearts go with Amy Strahan with Sam being gone and really being a hero to so many. We as a family are so grateful for these three beautiful girls. It's been a journey but one we are thankful to be on the other side of,” she said.