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The family of the Boston University graduate student killed in the marathon bombings last year has established a foundation in her name to provide scholarships and to support organizations that share the passion she had for travel and adventure.
Lu Lingzi, who had traveled from her native China to study statistics at BU, was one of three people killed when two pressure cooker bombs went off at the finish line April 15.
Lu was ambitious and focused from a young age and always intended on studying in the U.S., her aunt, Helen Zhao, of Cranston, R.I., told The Boston Globe.
Her niece relished the opportunity, loved trying new food and excelled in school.
"She was a dreamer," Zhao said. "She was very driven and wanted to experience life."
The Lingzi Foundation was announced as the anniversary of the bombings approached.
"Lingzi was a bright and confident young woman who yearned for life, loved beauty and pursued happiness," her father said in a statement announcing the foundation. "We hope to carry on Lingzi's positive spirit and encourage others to follow their passion and to pursue their own dreams."
Lu's parents, who live in Shenyang, China, plan to attend next week's memorial ceremonies for the victims, Zhao said.
Eight people are running this year's Boston Marathon to raise money for the Lingzi Foundation, including a veteran marathoner from China.
Zhao was Lu's emergency contact, and police drove to her house the day after the marathon to break the news that Lu had been killed.
"It didn't register," she said. "It was very hard to believe. It was like it was happening to someone else."