The city that Mayor Thomas Menino led for two decades is preparing for a final goodbye, as Boston Marathon bombing survivors open up about what the mayor meant to them.

Marathon bombing survivors came together Saturday to give blood, a small gesture to give back on a day when they’re thinking of a man who gave so much of himself to others.

“I was pretty impressed that he dropped his own issues and tended to ours,” said survivor Heather Abbott.

Heather Abbott feels a special connection to Menino. It started in the unique location she met him after the attacks. She was in the hospital, having lost part of her leg.

“He came to visit me at Brigham and Women’s and told me he had checked himself out a day or two earlier and visited me in the same hospital room he was in,” she said.

Abbott was in the hospital room where Menino was recovering from leg surgery. He couldn’t walk and was using a wheelchair, but was determined to meet the bombing victims face to face.

MBTA officer Dic Donohue, who was critically hurt in the Watertown shoot-out, says that Menino’s interactions with survivors were always personal, never political.

“When people attacked Boston, they attacked our city, they attacked his family,” Donohue said.

The survivors said his love is his biggest legacy.

“I think Mayor Menino was such a beloved mayor in city of Boston and someone who will never be forgotten,” Abbott said.

7News will have continuing coverage of the memorials and tributes to the former mayor throughout the weekend and on Monday, we’ll have special coverage of the mayor’s funeral, which begins at 9 a.m. We’ll be streaming live on

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