"My advice is just to keep hope and know that it will get better and it does get better. Every day is not going to be good. You just have to keep trying and know that there are better days ahead."

"I became a bilateral below knee amputee in March of 2017 as a result of an infection that I had after the birth of my son. At the end of my recovery, I ended up at Spaulding for about two and a half months. I ended up back there in November of 2017 for three and a half weeks to learn how to walk with the prostheses. I just got my running blades this past fall.

I would just say walking pretty much was a major accomplishment for me. I had muscles removed from both of my legs, and so I was very, very weak at the time. I also don't have use of either of my hands so using a wheelchair and a walker was very difficult for me because I can't grip anything. So I had the goal of wanting to be up on my feet and walking unassisted. Just walking in general and being up on my legs daily is just something that I am proud of. It's tough. Some days I don't know how I do it, but I just keep on going. It's hard for me to stay off of my legs because I have two children and I'm constantly on the go and I hate using my wheelchair.

I was never actually a runner before. I grew up dancing. I was a Zumba instructor and a dance instructor. I love moving and being up and about. When I was at Spaulding for prosthetic training, my goal at the end of my visit there was to teach a Zumba class. I got Dr. Crandell to do some Zumba and a little country line dance song, and it was great. My daughter dances so I stay connected with my dance family through her.

I did the Bionic5K in my neighborhood last year, just walking with a friend. It was something that I felt I wouldn't be able to do or would have difficulty doing, so I wanted to try to add a 5K on my bucket list. Honestly, I did no training. I just figured I would just go for it and see what happened. I liked the virtual option because I had didn't know what distance I could actually walk without taking a break. It was easy to sign up, download the walking app and upload the results. It just felt great even getting a t-shirt and stickers. Right when I finished the walk, I took a picture in front of a big red heart at the end of my street in my bionic shirt, and I felt really good about it.

My advice is just to keep hope and know that it will get better and it does get better. Every day is not going to be good. You just have to keep trying and know that there are better days ahead. And when I look back on how far I've come.... I want to inspire others and just provide hope that anything's possible. Today, I'm all about experiencing things that I wouldn't have done before, because why not?"

-Christine, Bionic5K athlete