Captain Sarah Bettencourt (USMC, Retired) was training as a helicopter pilot 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, where Sarah realized by adapting equipment and technique, she could accomplish anything! Since then, Sarah has founded San Diego Ducks Sled Hockey, is a defenseman on the US Women’s Sled Hockey Team, is on the US 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 2 sons in their Gary Sinise Foundation home, serving others through adaptive sports and representing her nation in sled hockey and surfing.
In my time of need, the Gary Sinise Foundation and its RISE 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