Boston Marathon bombing survivor becomes a runner after losing her leg

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Saturday, February 14, 2015
(Rebekah Gregory's New Day New Hope/Facebook)
Rebekah Gregory's New Day New Hope/Facebook

In the incredible continuing story, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Rebekah DiMartino is fulfilling her dream to become a runner just three months after having her leg amputated.

"I got blown up and they tried to destroy me, wrote Rebekah for ESPN. "This is my way of showing everyone that they didn't destroy me, and I've come back stronger because of it."

Rebekah endured 18 months of pain, and 17 operations, as doctors struggled to save her left leg following the bombing on April 15, 2013 until finally electing to have it amputated last November. Though, only two weeks after being fitted with her prosthetic leg, which she affectionately named "Felicia," Rebekah started training to run in the 2015 Boston Marathon on April 20.

But Rebekah never has been a runner before.

In fact, she says she's always hated running. Though after enduring the life-changing event, she says that "the marathon is a huge part of my life now, and it will always be."

"Running is very hard to do, and it's something I'm not used to. It feels like I'm dragging something along with me," wrote Rebekah. "But the feeling of running - even just that tiny little jog down the hallway -- was the greatest feeling ever. I've come so far!"

"Right now, I go to the gym for 2 hours a day and also do an hour of rehab. So half of every day is training for this marathon," wrote Rebekah. "My doctor told me that I'm way ahead of schedule, and the stuff that I'm doing right now usually takes people six months to do, so that gives me hope."

Rebekah's incredible will power and sense of humor has endured throughout her trials, often posting inspiring messages and photos to her Facebook page that has an 18,000+ following.