For Boston Marathon bombing survivor Sydney Corcoran, the many tattoos that now grace her body serve a purpose.
"The tattoos tell a story," said the 20-year-old Dracut resident. "With my actual scars [from the bombing], I didn't have a choice of how I wanted my body to look. But by getting tattoos I am marking my body the way I want.
"I love expressing myself," she said.
On April 15, 2013, Sydney was standing with her mother, Celeste, and her father, Kevin, on the sidewalk near the Marathon finish line on Boylston Street. Her mother lost both legs in the bombing, and Sydney nearly died from a severed femoral artery. A piece of the pressure-cooker bomb the size of a cell-phone lodged in her thigh.
Sydney got her first tattoo in the fall of 2013: a lion on her upper back. She had to wait for her doctor's approval so there would be no complications with the blood thinners she was taking after many surgeries.
"The tattoos show how far I've come," Sydney said. "If people ask me what they represent, I'm not afraid to share my story. It's out there for the world to see."