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Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Rebekah Gregory (ep. 262)

Rebekah Gregory

John O’Leary welcomes survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing Rebekah Gregory to the Live Inspired Podcast to share how she’s choosing to live life vibrantly.

“You can’t always choose the path that you walk in life but you can always choose the manner in which you walk it.” – John O’Leary

Rebekah Gregory is a shining example of not letting circumstances define our lives. Just feet away from 2013’s Boston Marathon explosion, Rebekah was severely injured and spent the next 56 days in the hospital. Yet, she and her son Noah choose not to be left shattered and instead choose to live vibrantly.

Refusing to be labeled a victim, Rebekah shares the challenges she’s overcome since that life-changing moment and how in the midst of overwhelming pain, there is still hope to be found on the other side of tragedy. Her resilience, faith and courage will remind you that our best days remain in front of us.

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  • As a child, Rebekah’s biological father was an Evangelic preacher yet abusive to her + her mom, teaching her to rise above trauma for a better purpose.
  • “Obedient preacher’s daughter” mask: Rebekah learned the importance of making herself happy before she could make others happy.
  • April 15, 2013: Just three feet away from the explosion, Rebekah never lost consciousness + remembers scanning the crowd for her 5-year-old amidst detached body parts and shrapnel from the pressure cooker bombs.
  • “I didn’t want it to be it. I knew I had not lived my life in the way that I wanted to die in.”
  • For the next 56 days after the explosion, Rebekah endured surgeries every other day to help her recover.
  • Rebekah relied on faith and her phenomenal medical team throughout her recovery believing she is here for a bigger purpose and her support system, including the medical staff.
  • Eighteen months later, Rebekah made the courageous decision to amputate her leg – a pivotal decision that helped her move forward.
  • “We can spend all day talking about problems but my blessings outweigh that, and so do everyone’s.”
  • Although difficult, testifying against the bomber amazingly closed a chapter + birthed a whole new perspective on the tragedy.
  • Rebekah chose to use being an amputee as a mark of survival + began doing things she never thought possible including passing the Boston Marathon finish line with her prosthetic leg “Felicia”.
  • I want to give people hope because everyone’s life blows up in their face. Rebekah’s Angels provides mental health treatment to children + families that have experienced trauma. Learn more here.
  • “There is still so much more good in the world. It is our responsibility, now more than ever, to be a part of that good.”


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor.

[Hear Shawn Achor shares that what we focus on grows and it’s in the darkest times that we need optimism, gratitude and social connection the most on Live Inspired Podcast ep. 236.]

2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? I was shy + timid as a child. I wish I could go back to my treehouse, write my stories and cherish those moments alone.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? My waterproof prosthetic leg Ariel because nothing sets my soul more on fire than being at the beach.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? My granddaddy David.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Ride in someone else’s wake and never be the smartest person in the room.

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Don’t get caught up in the trivial stuff and really live it up.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? Life is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. Sometimes you have to go through some really horrific things but I’m always going to be waiting at the finish line and I can’t wait to meet you there.


My new book IN AWE is now available… and became an instant bestseller! Learn how to rediscover your childlike sense of wonder to unleash inspiration, meaning and joy. Visit ReadInAwe.com today! 


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