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Love grows through tragedy for Boston Bombing survivors

Webster, N.Y. They are 1,600 miles apart.

Peter DiMartino lives in Webster and his girlfriend, Rebekah Gregory lives in Houston, TX with her five-year-old son, but Peter and Rebekah are closer than ever before.

The couple met a year ago at Next Door Bar and Grill when Rebekah was in Rochester for a business meeting and Peter was the restaurants bartender. Theyve been in a long distance relationship together ever since.

The two Boston Marathon bombing victims say their love has grown through the tragedy they experienced together.

I dont think there are really a lot of people who have gone through what we've gone through, Peter said.

Peter, his sister and Rebekahs legs were all seriously injured when the first bomb went off near the finish line at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. At that point, the couple had been dating long-distance for nine months. They were in Boston to cheer on Peters mother who was running in the race.
 
Rebekah explained those seconds after the blast, she remembered thinking she was going to die.

I looked over at Peter [who was lying next to her on the pavement] and I just said, I love you so much, she explained. I didn't know if I was ever going to see him again at that point.

She and Peter were separated at different hospitals for the weeks following the bombings. Even after they were discharged, Peter had to go back home to Webster for rehab and Rebekah headed home to Texas to be with her family.
Rebekah said it was difficult being apart from Peter while recovering from her injuries.

It made it ten times harder to be away from him because I needed him to help me through this, Rebekah said. I feel like he needs me too.

Rebekah and Peter talk on the phone and FaceTime every day and that has helped, but since the bombing, they realized this wasnt enough.

Peter is now planning to move to Texas to live in a newly-built home with Rebekah.

We'll be all moved in right before Christmas and we'll have our first Christmas together in our new home, he said.

While Peter is quickly recovering from his leg injury, Rebekah was more severely injured. Even now, there is a 50 percent chance she could lose her foot.

Peter said he could help Rebekah during the recovery process. She just started walking on crutches.

Being as I just got off crutches, Im able to help her how learn how to open a door and go up stairs and Im the cook out of the two of us. So Ill do the cooking she wont have to worry about that.

The couple says moving in together was the next logical step and that going through the Boston bombing tragedy made it easy to see that they really need each other.

Something like this will either make you or break you as a couple, Rebekah said. For us, its made us a lot stronger. Luckily for us, it didnt end for us on April 15 and I cant wait to see what our future holds.

Angela Hong, 13WHAM-TV
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