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Jessica Kensky & Patrick Downes

Jack Manning will be the first recipient of the Boston College Strong Scholarship, given in honor of BC graduate Patrick Downes and his wife, Jessica Kensky, survivors of the Marathon bombings.

NEWTON — When Jack Manning was just 8, his parents received devastating news: Their son had cancer and would require rounds of chemotherapy. Ultimately he would lose half his left leg to the disease.

They learned of the illness after he broke his femur at a soccer tryout, while he wasn’t even involved in a strenuous activity, according to Manning, who grew up in Norfolk.

“The bone was just so weak from the tumor,” he recalled in an interview Saturday. “I think I was just kicking a ball, and it snapped.”

Manning missed a year of school and had to learn to walk with a prosthetic leg. But the setback ultimately slowed him down very little. CLICK FOR MORE

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