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The Finish Line

April 21, 2016

As we mark Limb Loss Awareness Month, I think nothing shines a brighter light on the spirit of amputee achievement than two of the finishers in yesterday's Boston Marathon.

 

Adrianne Haslett and Patrick Downes, both of whom lost a leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, each completed the course this year on their prosthetic legs. Haslett who had problems with her leg during the race but didn't let it stop her, took nearly 10 hours to complete the run, and Downes, whose wife also lost both of her legs in the 2013 bombing, finished in just under 6 hours. Those times would disappoint most serious runners, and it would be easy to excuse them because of their limb loss: "well, for two amputees, that's darn good."

 

But the finishing times miss the point.

 

The point is that these two incredible people refused to let the tragedy that changed their lives forever dim their desire, their thirst for living. They -- and the 43 other mobility-impaired runners in the race, 42 of whom finished -- are truly a testament to living with passion and courage. While for most other runners, the race is over when they cross the finish line, for amputees, the race is never over. Every day is a marathon.

 

Patrick and Adrianne are Boston Strong, yes.

 

Maybe more importantly, they are Amputee Strong.

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