Skip to main content

roseann sdoia perfect strangers book cover

“Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

—Author Joshua J. Marine

As she lay on Boylston Street, bleeding profusely with agonizing pain throughout her body, Roseann Sdoia knew she had to make a choice. “Amid all the chaos and noise I could become hysterical, upset and cry, or I could breathe deeply through the pain, try to remain as calm as possible and get myself help,” she recalls.  Roseann bravely chose the latter and it made all the difference.

This coming Monday, April 15, 2019 will mark the sixth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, an event which left an indelible mark on thousands of lives.  On that day, Roseann was on Boylston Street near the finish line, waiting for her friend to complete the grueling 26.2-mile course.

From the moment the second bomb went off next to the mailbox where she was standing, Roseann’s life was profoundly changed.  In her book, Perfect Strangers, Roseann tells the moving story of how the lives of four people – a Northeastern University college student, a Boston policewoman, a Boston fireman and Roseann – became intertwined that afternoon.  Since that day, those four strangers have forged a perfect bond of friendship that illustrates how, through challenges, choices and compassion, something wonderful can evolve out of such a tragic event.

Since the bombing, every day for Roseann has been filled with making choices and overcoming challenges which have created a life so meaningful that not even Roseann could have imagined it six years ago.

Today, Roseann shares her experiences as a motivational speaker, author and personal mentor for amputees and other trauma victims. Her desire to help others — from business leaders and medical professionals to students, athletes and individuals going through life-changing moments — has provided a sense of fulfillment and purpose in her life today that she never experienced as a successful real estate executive in her professional life prior to the bombing.

“Life can be so much more meaningful if you don’t live your life just to make a living, but rather live your life to make a difference,” Roseann remarked in a recent interview.

Through her motivational speaking engagements and media interviews, Roseann’s story has inspired so many people to realize that life is filled with making choices every day, and that by overcoming challenges and living a life filled with purpose and passion, they can create a life that is truly fulfilling.

This Marathon Monday, exactly six years to the day when she stood next to a mailbox to watch her friend Jen finish the 2013 Boston Marathon, Roseann can take great pride looking back at the challenges she has overcome and how the choices she has made have resulted in her being able to reach out and inspire others to work through their difficulties and give new meaning to their lives.

Roseann will be at the Boston Marathon Expo at the Hynes Convention Center on Friday and Saturday, April 12 & 13, signing her book and meeting people who have been inspired by her story.

And as Roseann’s inspiring story reminds us, a life worth living that truly makes a difference is not a sprint.  It is, indeed, a marathon.

To learn more about Roseann, visit her website at

Author Rich Carlson

Senior marketing specialist, Rich Carlson, has 44 years of experience working in advertising, marketing, and public relations on national, regional and local levels. In the 11 years prior to founding Carlson Communications in 1989, Rich worked in senior management positions for three prominent real estate developers in New England and Texas, specializing in real estate marketing and sales. Since 1995, Rich has specialized in all facets of marketing senior housing including active adult, independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. As a marketing consultant, Rich helps clients achieve their sales goals while strengthening in-house sales and marketing teams with strategic advice on planning and implementing effective marketing strategies. He is a frequent speaker at national and regional conventions and is the author of, "Are You Prepared for the Recovery?"

More posts by Rich Carlson

All rights reserved Salient.