Sarah Bettencourt was training as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps when a rare neurological disorder forced her to medically retire in 2012. With her constantly changing and sometimes very serious symptoms, Sarah struggled to find her place back in society, until she was introduced to adaptive sports. Here, Sarah realized by adapting her equipment and technique to her abilities, she could accomplish anything!
Sarah founded the San Diego Ducks Sled Hockey Team, serves as a defenseman on the U.S. Women’s Sled Hockey Team, surfs on the U.S. Para Surf Team, and is the reigning World Champion in the Women’s Para Surf Prone 1 Division. Sarah lives a full and happy life with her husband and two sons in their Gary Sinise Foundation specially adapted smart home, custom made to fit her needs. Sarah continues to serve others through adaptive sports and representing her nation in both sled hockey and surfing.
“In my time of need, the Gary Sinise Foundation and its R.I.S.E. program not only provided my family and I a safe house, but the customizations transformed my daily tasks from challenging to easy. I now have the energy and independence to live my life to the fullest and follow my dreams. I'm honored to be a GSF Ambassador and share Gary's vision of supporting our veterans and their families.”
— Sarah Bettencourt