Wilmington amputee wants to help brothers injured in bombing

By Mellany Armstrong 1:54pm, April 17, 2013 - Updated 1:59pm, April 17, 2013
J.P. and Paul Norden of Massachusetts (photo from family Facebook page)
A Wilmington motivational speaker and amputee is hoping to talk with two brothers who each lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombings.

"One of the reasons I'd like to get a hold of them is to give them some hope that they can live a productive life going forward."

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Kevin Reilly is a former NFL linebacker who lost his left arm and shoulder to cancer. He says the first thing he would tell J.P. and Paul Norden of Massachusetts is that they're not alone.

"Will they treat me differently now that I'm handicapped, and what will my job opportunities be going forward? And, really, none of those things should be altered, if I could just tell them, I'm living proof of that," Reilly said.

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The brothers were at the marathon supporting a friend who was running the race. The runner was not injured.

Reilly says the Nordens can lead full lives.

"They can, and they will, if they put their mind to it, be able to fulfill whatever dreams they had before this happened. Especially with the leg amputations. I can't tell you how well the prosthetic devices that are out now, and they continue to get better month after month," Reilly said.

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Reilly says it's important for amputees to have a kindred spirit to talk with to help avoid depression and to see that there is a future beyond tragedy.

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