Adrianne Haslet-Davis featured on Illuminessence Magazine: Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Adrianne Haslet-Davis inspires through tragedy!


By: Laura Shirk | March 21, 2016

Adrianne Haslet-Davis is a dancer, a friend, a philanthropist and a survivor who doesn’t believe in the word: recovered.

What seems like a lifetime ago in terms of international terror, Adrianne Haslet-Davis survived a day that some would observe broke her body, but definitely not her spirit.

Flashback three years ago: Haslet-Davis decided to spend the day celebrating a hometown tradition- the Boston Marathon. But the national event was cut short by a horrific bombing attack. A victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon terrorist attack, she personified the two words that rang around the world in retaliation:Boston strong.


The sheer will-power and resolve to not become a victim led Adrianne Haslet-Davis to survive her emotional ordeal- Photo courtesy of Adrianne Haslet-Davis


As a professional ballroom dancer, having lost a leg in the attack, she instinctively denied the possibility. Adrianne’s drastic change in lifestyle required healing on physical, mental and emotional levels. As an active person, both in mind and body, her greatest challenge was patience. She notes, “The waiting was the hardest part. Waiting for a limb, for my body to walk again, for my mind and heart to feel safe, for my muscle memory to gain it’s new normal and everything in between.”


Dancing comes natural to Adrianne, as she comments;
“Dancing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel as though I should be doing anything else.”-Photo courtesy of Adrianne Haslet-Davis


Perhaps it was listening to her favorite songs on repeat or having suffered somewhat of a broken support system, but she was determined to beat the odds and dance again. And that she did. With the ability to express all of her feelings from moment to moment and step to step, she believes the art form to be her best cure. Which is why she will continue to grow, change and recover.

To help with the ongoing process, Adrianne keeps a calendar to write down highlights and lowlights of the day. She reveals,

“This helps me look at all the little and big things that have happened to get me where I am. I believe that it is not those who are happy that are grateful. I believe that is those who are grateful that are happy.”

Adrianne believes that it is necessary to rely on yourself to celebrate every little thing. In addition to dancing, Adrianne enjoys writing in her spare time.


Transforming her story from personal to public, Adrianne has evolved into an inspirational and motivational speaker. As noted on her website, her audience reach includes corporate clients, Boston area hospitals, prosthetic conventions and patient advocacy groups. Featured on the cover of People Magazine, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and named as one Cosmo Magazine’s most powerful women of the year, Adrianne’s platform for connecting with others is learning how to lead an authentic life.


Adrianne is using her platform to inspire others-
Photo courtesy of Adrianne Haslet-Davis

As an ambassador for Limbs for Life and Stupid Cancer, Adrianne works to support those who don’t have the means to afford a limb or struggle to fight cancer alone. Associated with Stupid Cancer, she also helps to encourage brand recognition for Instapeer, the first peer-matching app that personally links those fighting cancer. While still in development, her organization, Sister Legs, advocates hospital visits to local patients. Adrianne acknowledges that she knows all too well what it’s like to feel alone while struggling to overcome challenges that many can’t fully relate to.

As a youngster, growing up in her parents’ independent children’s bookstore, storytelling played a large part in shaping her. With her family supportive of the arts, she was encouraged to pursue her creative passion rather than college. Her return to the dance floor reads as one happy ending.

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