Nightly News   |  October 07, 2013

Boston amputees show the world their strength

The Boston marathon survivors who participated in a running and mobility clinic organized by the Challenged Athletes Foundation said the event felt like another milestone in their long road to recovery. NBC’s Brian Williams reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight if you saw last night's broadcast you saw an event held in boston . it has to do with people we followed in the news. people we have come to know for all the wrong reasons. they are the boston amputees, the brave survivors who keep proving time and time again they are still standing and then some. we first met them, a group of six women amputees from the boston bombing four months ago at spalding re has been hospital in boston . back then they were just getting fitted with their new limbs. back then, still fresh from their wounds, still on a lot of meds, getting used to the idea of getting around again. women like celeste corcoran who lost both legs.

>> we want the to walk and that's the main priority. i loved my legs. i was always told my legs were my best feature, you know. now they're gone.

>> reporter: so it was an amazing and public show of courage on an open field in boston this weekend when some of those women showed up to show the world what they are doing. this was a running and mobility clinic. it's run by the challenged athlete foundation, people of all amgs and skill level s, all of them have their own story of illness or injury. each one at a different stage in their comeback.

>> if you know the exercising you need to do is going to get you your independence then you're going to do it.

>> reporter: heather abbott was there as well. she was part of our group that day at the re has been hospital. she received her new running leg at a ceremony this past weekend. it's her fourth prosthetic so far. we watched her take her first steps in it. she's taking stock of how far she's come.

>> when i talked to brian williams , to think it was only four months ago and now i can walk without crutches, on my own. i'm pretty independent. i think i'm pretty amazed by that.

>> reporter: it helps these women and all of the folk who is came to the clinic to have role models. among them, retired marine sergeant gabe martinez who lost both his legs in combat in afghanistan. he is all about getting back up and moving. his optimism set s exactly the right tone.

>> i tell them, don't push yourself too hard. take it day by day and live your new life.

>> reporter: it's been a long journey for all of them. it isn't over. for most of them, however, it gets better and they know it.

>> it feels like reaching another milestone and getting back to the way things used to be. it's kind of a step in the right direction.