Celebrate with TODAY! Ask Al Roker to wish your loved ones a happy birthday or anniversary

Mother-daughter bombing victims cross Boston Marathon finish line

2013 Boston Marathon survivors Celeste Corcoran (C) and her daughter Sydney (R) finish the race with Celeste's sister Carmen Acabbo, who ran the 118th Boston Marathon, in Boston, Massachusetts April 21, 2014. Reuters
2013 Boston Marathon survivors Celeste Corcoran (center) and her daughter Sydney (right) finish the race with Celeste's sister Carmen Acabbo.

Last year, Celeste Corcoran didn't get to see her sister Carmen Acabbo cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. Wounded by bomb blasts, Celeste, 47, lost both legs below the knee, and her daughter Sydney, now 18, also suffered severe injuries.

At this year's marathon, the Corcorans helped Carmen finish what she started, and achieved a milestone themselves.

The mother-daughter duo joined Acabbo for the last stretch of the race, and the family crossed the finish line holding hands, thanks to their determination and a set of specialized prosthetic legs. 

Celeste and Sydney Corcoran joined Carmen Acabbo at the finish line for the Boston Marathon on Monday, a year after the bombing that claimed both of Celeste's legs and left them with injuries. TODAY
Celeste and Sydney Corcoran joined Carmen Acabbo at the finish line for the Boston Marathon on Monday, a year after the bombing that claimed both of Celeste's legs and left them with injuries.

The Corcorans entered the race with Acabbo at Exeter and Boylston streets and completed roughly the last block of the marathon together. 

Celeste and Sydney Corcoran waiting to retake the finish line on Monday. Paul Manson / TODAY
Celeste and Sydney Corcoran waiting to retake the finish line on Monday.

Afterwards, they chatted with TODAY's Natalie Morales, who had run with Acabbo in honor of the pair, and all those affected by the bombings.

Corcoran, her husband Kevin, and their daughter Sydney were at the finish line last year to watch Acabbo complete the race, but while Acabbo was still two-tenths of a mile away, the first bomb detonated. Celeste's legs were so badly damaged that she had to have both of them amputated, and she also had to have surgery for a ruptured right eardrum. Sydney nearly bled to death after shrapnel flew into her right thigh, and has since developed an eating disorder and shown symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Boston Globe

Acabbo spoke with Morales before Monday's race, as the family focused on creating a positive memory after the tragedy of last year. Acabbo and Morales both wore pink shirts with "Corcoran Strong" on them during the race. 

"I think she's looking forward to the finish,'' Acabbo said about her sister before the race. "There's definitely anxiety around this whole situation, but as a family, we're just looking forward to crossing together. I hope we can just do it. I think it's just going to be unbelievable. It's going to be such a special moment of closure for us to just finally say that we're crossing this together." 

"“There’s been ups and downs and more, lately, more ups than downs,” Celeste told Matt Lauer on TODAY last month. “I think we’re headed in the right direction. This is going to a be a positive reclaiming of a space that was taken away from us.”

In the year since the bombing, Sydney has begun her freshman year in college, and Celeste has worked to adjust to specialized prosthetic legs that allow her to run. The prosthetics came from the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which Morales helped raise more than $17,000 for by running in Monday's race. 

“I don’t think we’ll ever get the normal that we had before but I think we’ll definitely find a new normal,” Sydney Corcoran said on TODAY last month, adding: “Haven’t found it yet, but we’re getting closer to it.”

  • Slideshow Photos

    Image: 2014 B.A.A. Boston Marathon

    Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    The 118th Boston Marathon was filled with pride, love and solidarity; here are some of those moments during the race.

  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon -

    The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings shook the nation, but the outcry of love and support for the city and its runners has been stronger than ever before. People from all over rallied to cheer on the participants at the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014. Through banners, flags, and face paint, the feeling of "Boston Strong" was unmistakable.

    A runner with a temporary Boston Marathon tattoo gets ready to run.
    Andrew Burton / Getty Images
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Banner held high -

    A father and son wave a "Boston Strong" flag as they look on from the starting line of the Boston Marathon.
    Andrew Burton / Getty Images
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Heartfelt -

    Runners place their hands over their hearts in solidarity as the National Anthem plays at the beginning of the Marathon.
    Andrew Burton / Getty Images
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    High five -

    A runner and a bystander give each other a high five during the race.
    Andrew Burton / Getty Images
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Good luck! -

    Andrea Prusinski, left, hugs friend and runner Karen Schroeder before boarding the bus to the starting line of the 118th Boston Marathon.
    Matt Rourke / AP
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Spirits high -

    Runners gather with pride and anticipation as they wait for the start gun in Hopkinton, Mass.
    Andrew Burton / Getty Images
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Comrade in arms -

    Runner Renee Chouinard of Stouffville, Canada, has the word "Boston" written on her arm while she waits for the start of the race.
    Justin Lane / EPA
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Sendoff -

    Susana Cor, of Equador cheers with her family as buses leave Boston for the starting line of the race.
    Matt Rourke / AP
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Hand of friendship -

    A runner in the 118th Boston Marathon shakes the hand of a spectator holding American flags as runners' busses arrive in Hopkinton.
    Stephan Savoia / AP
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Give peace a chance -

    A peace symbol bearing the words of 2013 Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard, "No more hurting people. Peace," is affixed to a pole near the finish line of the 118th Boston Marathon.
    Charles Krupa / AP
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Head held high -

    Mike Poitras, of Dracut, Mass., wears the slogan "Boston Strong" on his head near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
    Charles Krupa / AP
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Faithful fans -

    Fans cheer near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
    Herb Swanson / EPA
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Strong show of support -

    Juli Windsor gets high-fives and cheers of support from students lining Wellesley College.
    Mary Schwalm / AP
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Flag day -

    A young fan waves the American flag near the finish line of the Marathon.
    Elise Amendola / AP
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Memorial maker -

    Kevin Brown of Brockton, Mass. gets an early seat near the finish line to watch the running of the 118th Boston Marathon. Brown created the memorials to the 2013 bombing victims sitting near the the line, center rear.
    Elise Amendola / AP
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Stronger than ever -

    Before the start of the race, Marla Fogelman, right, hangs a banner on the second floor over Marathon Sports store, the site of the first bomb blast in 2013.
    Charles Krupa / AP
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Off the top of his head -

    Rob Ordman, of Calgary Alberta, wears the slogan "Boston Strong" on his head as he waits to cheer on his wife Beth near the finish line.
    Charles Krupa / AP
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Boylston banner -

    Runners pass by banners of love and support as they make their way to load onto buses in the early hours of the morning on April 21.
    Matt Rourke / AP
  • Boston Strong: Showing support at the Boston Marathon

    of

    Fist bump at finish -

    Jeff Bauman and Carlos Arredondo give a celebratory fist bump at the finish line viewing area during the 118th Boston Marathon. Arredondo helped save Bauman's life after the first of the two bombs exploded at the finish line at last year's marathon on April 15, 2013.
    Cj Gunther / EPA
TOP