How One Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor — And Amputee — Found The Strength To Run Again

posted: 04/21/15
by: TLC

This is the day....I take my life back.

Posted by Rebekah Gregory DiMartino's New Day New Hope on Monday, 20 April 2015

Rebekah Gregory is the definition of a survivor. Two years ago, she was crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon right when the bombs went off. She nearly died, but pulled through, and suffered 17 painful surgeries to repair her damaged left leg before finally deciding to amputate it.

The decision wasn't easy, but one thing Gregory knew for sure was that she wanted to return to the Boston Marathon. Her doctor wouldn't clear her to run the entire 26.2 mile race, so instead, she started from mile 23, alternating between walking and running. The point was symbolic for Gregory: it didn't matter that she ran the whole race, only that she could pass over the finish line and triumph over her past tragedy.

"It is extremely emotional to look back on the last two years of my life. To remember what it felt like to be bleeding out on the pavement, wondering if I would ever see my child's smile again. In a matter of minutes, my entire world changed. Everything I knew was literally blown to pieces, and I was forced to start picking them up one by one," she wrote of her marathon experience on Facebook.

Running the marathon was cathartic for Gregory -- even if she wan't able to run as much as she would have liked. And she already has plans to return next year and hopefully run the whole thing.

"I took my life back today." she told ESPNw. "I want people to know that there's life after bad things that happen to you And if I can be someone's hope or inspiration, that's what I want to do."