Dec 19, 2014 1:59 AM
Marathon bombing survivor in 'Yes to Dress' finale
The Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) The Boston Marathon bombings took Rebekah DiMartino's leg, but they couldn't rob her of her joy as a new bride.
Her sometimes faltering search for the perfect wedding dress trying on designer gowns while balancing on crutches is featured in Friday night's season finale of TLC's popular reality show, "Say Yes to the Dress."
Last month, after 30 surgeries for injuries she suffered in the April 2013 bombings at the marathon finish line, doctors amputated her left leg below the knee.
DiMartino, 27, since has been outfitted with a prosthetic limb and is training to run the 2015 Boston Marathon.
The finale of "Say Yes to the Dress" captures her using crutches for balance as she tried on wedding dresses at Kleinfeld, an upscale New York City bridal salon.
DiMartino, whose maiden name was Gregory, was watching last year's marathon when the first of two bombs exploded a few feet away. Her son, Noah, now 7, and her then-boyfriend, Pete DiMartino, also were hurt.
The couple wed last spring in Asheville, North Carolina, and now lives in the Houston area.
Her appearance follows the show's typical format, following a bride-to-be as she hunts for the dress of her dreams. But for DiMartino, standing long enough just to try one on was a feat in itself.
"Actually trying on the dresses was one of the most physically exhausting things I have ever done," she said. "I almost passed out from the sheer pain quite a few times, but I was determined not to let it stop me."
The couple was chosen for a "dream wedding contest" organized by TheKnot.com, a wedding planning website. Visitors to the site helped choose DiMartino's dress, a fit-and-flare Sophia Moncelli dress, as well as the couple's rings and the venue for the nuptials, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.
"It's weird to say that it felt normal because of the cameras, but it was nice to concentrate on something other than my leg at that point," DiMartino said of filming the show's finale. "Everyone was thinking about how my leg was doing, how many more surgeries and all that, so it was nice to focus on getting married and picking out a dress."
A suspect charged in the bombings, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, goes on trial Jan. 5. His older brother, Tamerlan, was killed in a shootout with police after the attacks, which killed three people and injured more than 260.
"This has made me so much more appreciative of every single day," DiMartino said. "It's a reminder that our days are not promised to us. I've been given a second chance at life and I'm not going to waste it."