Watch: This Arlington mother’s two young daughters helped push her through the 2018 Boston Marathon

"Seeing their strength has made me a stronger person."

Molly Crellin with her two daughters
Molly Crellin with her two daughters. –Screenshot via Above Summit

Molly and Chris Crellin can sometimes only manage to laugh at their luck. For Molly, running also helps give her balance through their challenges as parents.

The Arlington couple says they’ve been told that they’re just the third set of heart-healthy parents in the English-speaking world who have two kids with the exact same congenital heart defect, a condition called tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia.

“I kind of yearn to know what the experience would be like to bring a healthy newborn home,” the 39-year-old mother, who ran the 2018 Boston Marathon, said in a short documentary from Above Summit titled Racing Heats.

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In the doc, the Crellins recall the intensive surgeries their young daughters, Hope and Mireya, have gone through since birth. For instance, within two weeks of her birth, Hope’s chest had to be left open for five days for a procedure.

“You would see this baby with a bandage over her chest cavity, and you could see her little heart beating,” Molly said.

Mireya’s condition has required even more complicated procedures, the last of which came within two weeks of the Boston Marathon. The Crellins say Mireya shouldn’t need another surgery, and the hope is that both girls will be able to lead normal lives. The obstacles they’ve already overcome motivated Molly as she trained for her 23rd marathon.

“Seeing their strength has made me a stronger person,” she said.