Celeste Corcoran
Celeste Corcoran

Women Who Inspire: Celeste Corcoran

Celeste left and her daughter Sydney. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

NAME: Celeste Corcoran

AGE: 48

OCCUPATION: Massachusetts Hairdresser, Survivor

WHO SHE IS: Celeste Corcoran was just a bystander. The Lowell, Massachusetts mom had been watching her sister run the 2013 Boston Marathon when the horrific bombing occurred — right where she had been standing. She was conscious when she lost both her legs, considering her options — she told NPR, “I think I shocked myself thinking ‘I just want to die.’ Then I was just sort of like, ‘Seriously, I do not want to die. I’ve got so much to do. I’ve got my kids. I have my life. I have my husband.’ There was no way I wanted to die.” Her 17-year-old daughter Sydney also suffered terrible injuries, and as a nation we watched as they recovered together at the Boston Medical Center.

WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: Sometimes you don’t immediately know why someone makes an impact. But Celeste made an immediate impact upon me, and I know exactly why. Like the rest of the world, I tracked her story (and wept) over the videos of her getting her prosthetic legs for the first time, struggling to walk, and then finally, unbelievably, running for the first time, swimming, driving. I followed “Celeste and Sydney’s” GoFundMe.com page, which has raised over $792,000 to date. Atop the page, there is a happy picture of mother and daughter, balloons behind them. Better times? Maybe, but the extraordinary bravery they showed appeared to give both mother and daughter new purpose.

You wonder what you would do when faced with a similar, instantaneous tragedy. Would you give up? Or, like Celeste, would you muster every ounce of chutzpah to fight on?  Her courage speaks to the power of our human spirit. Talk about Boston Strong.

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