Rebekah Gregory and Pete DiMartino are just like any other young, engaged couple planning their wedding. Except that they're not, because after meeting in March 2012 and beginning a long-distance relationship, they were at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last April to support DiMartino's mom. When the unthinkable happened, and bombs went off, Rebekah was thrown on top of her now 6-year-old son, Noah. She saved his life but ended up breaking almost every bone in her foot, leg, and ankle. To date, she's had 15 surgeries, is still in a wheechair, and is still at risk for amputation. Pete was also injured, losing 90 percent of his right Achilles tendon, suffering broken ankle bones and a ruptured eardrum, as well.
So, so horrible ... But this extremely challenging time led to a deeper bond and true happiness for the pair.
Rebekah explains to People:
[In] the end, we decided our relationship was worth more. We realized that we didn't have to survive that day -- we could've lost one another -- and for me, I knew I didn't want to spend another day without this guy. For whatever time I have left on Earth I want to be with him.
Ooh ... I knew I should've warned you to reach for the tissues. But, wait, it gets even more amazing, because in October, Pete surprised Rebekah near their new home in Richmond, Texas by proposing. They were going to just do a small family wedding, but when TheKnot.com found out about their story, they offered them this year's The Knot Dream Wedding, which readers will help plan by voting on everything from the flowers to the dress to the cake each week.
In turn, they're going to tie the knot this spring in a TBD city. (Though followers all over the country can tune in, because the wedding's going to be live-streamed!) And the reception will be planned by celeb planner Marcy Blum, who's done the weddings of LeBron James and Savannah Brinson, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Billy Joel and Katie Lee, etc.
'Course not every bride would jump at the chance to have other people choose her wedding details. As it turns out, Rebekah's psyched to have crowd-sourced wedding plans, which will most definitely help alleviate some of the stress of the process! She'll also be blogging about the whole process all on PEOPLE.com.
So awesome. After what this couple has been through, they truly deserve this and so much more. Their story really is an inspiring testament to how the darkest times can often lead you to realize what it is that matters to you the most. Congrats to them! Here's to seeing their wedding be just one of many dreams to come true.
What's your reaction to Rebekah and Pete's story?