SAN FRANCISCO – KRON4 continues to celebrate Remarkable Women who make a difference in the Bay Area. Megan Bull, a survivor of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, is one such woman.
Bull is using the trauma she experienced that day to help others.
“I don’t get as emotional talking about it anymore, because I feel like I’m taking back the control and I’m moving myself forward,” she said.
Nearly two and a half years after surviving the shooting that took the lives of three people, Bull is feeling stronger than ever. But she can still recall that tragic day.
“My partner and I started running. We heard about 30 more shots going off,” she said. “Everything around us was chaos. We were right in the section where the shooter was, so you can imagine the visuals were not great.”
The two jumped into a vendor’s car and were driven to safety. Although they were unharmed physically, it didn’t take long for Bull to start feeling the symptoms of PTSD.
“Any loud noises, strangers, anything would bring back quite a bit of flashbacks,” she said. “The day after, I didn’t leave my bed. Even now, it makes me emotional thinking of how low of a point that was. I wasn’t sure how long I could even continue.
Struggling to find any solid resources for trauma survivors, she started going to therapy.
“She was beyond helpful, but I kept thinking, trying to keep myself motivated. I asked myself what do I want to do despite what happened to me? From that, I started thinking of building my own nonprofit to fit the needs of what I already saw were missing.”
Written on a pizza box, the idea of Reclaim Foundation, a nonprofit to help survivors of trauma, was born.
But just as Bull was gaining a semblance of normalcy, she survived another kind of tragedy, a hit and run crash.
“It broke my back in two places and then pushed my vertebrae toward my nerves so I needed four screws and two rods to hold my back together,” she recalled.
After undergoing spinal surgery, she learned how to walk and get her strength back up, becoming even more inspired to help others.
“Having these awful things happen, I kept thinking, I have lived through the worst now. How can I move forward? There is so much I want to do in life. I don’t want to let these two things limit me from doing it. It reframed life,” she said.
Reclaim Foundation is completely run by volunteers and supported by donations. Its mission is to provide resources to survivors of trauma and connect them with other survivors.
Bull is also launching a portal on the website this summer, allowing survivors to write in an online journal to track progress privately or share it publicly.
At just 25 years old, with two life-shattering traumas under her belt, Bull’s life work will continue to be helping others.
“While I hope traumas cease to exist, for now they are ongoing, so I hope Reclaim Foundation can help anyone affected,” she said.