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Boston Marathon bombing survivor set to speak at Tampa Bay event

A backpack with a bomb in it went off three feet behind Rebekah Gregory. Now, she is sharing her story.

TAMPA, Fla. — Rebekah Gregory and her then 5-year-old son Noah attended the Boston Marathon in 2013 to cheer on a friend. 

"2013 was the first I had ever been to Boston. I was there for my birthday weekend, we had went to a red sox game and toured the city and had a great time before the race," Gregory said.

The excitement of race day and being in a new city soon turned into one of the most traumatic experiences of their life. 

Credit: Rebekah Gregory

"We went to the finish line and I told my son why don't you sit down on my feet. He sat down on my feet with his back against my shins and that's where he was when a bomb in a backpack went off three feet behind us," Gregory said. 

Because of the explosion, Gregory lost her left leg, underwent multiple surgeries and spent more than 50 days in the hospital. Her son Noah escaped physical injury but was scarred emotionally from the bombing. 

"It took time to get things back to normal. You know, I was scared to leave the house, I was scared to go to the airport, cause of all the backpacks and suitcases I thought those had bombs in them," Gregory said. 

Credit: Rebekah Gregory

In the search for help and during a tough recovery Gregory found Accelerated Resolution Therapy or ART. It uses a mix of hand-eye movements to reprogram the brain. 

Gregory said this form of therapy worked for she and her son and helped them overcome their emotional pain and trauma.

"I wouldn't wish what happened to me on my worst enemy, but because of what I experienced I've become an advocate for mental health. With Accelerated Resolution Therapy, we no longer have to just cope or try to get by, we can really heal from these things," said Gregory.

Gregory has since started her own foundation, Rebekah's Angels, that works to help children and families receive therapy and overcome trauma.

Gregory will also share her story of survival at the ART International Brave B.A.S.H on Nov. 8 at SHELTAIR Aviation in Tampa. 

VIP reception at 6 p.m. General admission begins at 7 p.m. and dinner and entertainment at 7:45 p.m.

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