Marine Amputee Heals Herself Through Strength - A "Catch A Lift" Story

  • 5 years ago
9/11/2001… Ground Zero… The Pentagon… Washington DC…What started out as one of the best days of Sarah Rudder’s life, earning a promotion from the Marine Corps, soon took a tragic turn when the ground shook from the impact of the plane crashing into this symbolic building. Little did Sarah know she was about to embark on a 13 year journey that would take her from the depths of depression to a reawakening of her fighting spirit thanks to the Catch A Lift Fund.

During the rescue and recovery effort at the Pentagon, Sarah shattered her ankle while working with a search team in the debris. The painful injury and her anger related to the 9/11 attacks led her to ease her pain with alcohol. Eventually, the injury required amputation, and soon after, a medical discharge from the service. This made Sarah feel even more helpless. “I was so angry because I saw the devastation that was left behind from 9/11,” she reflected. “The anger I held inside for them not allowing me to do my job and work side by side with my brothers and sisters in arms and fight for what I saw happen that day, to this day I still hold anger inside.”

Fortunately, Sarah discovered Catch A Lift, whose motto is “Changing Bodies, Healing Minds, Saving Lives”. Inspired by seeing other vets with injuries often worse than hers, taking ownership of their own activity and recovery, helped create some perspective. She discovered how lifting weights and going to the gym each day helped her deal with the anger, while spending time with peers who understand her deep-rooted feelings and share similar experiences has allowed her to reconnect to a supportive community and begin to heal.

Listen to Sarah’s story and see how for her and others who have experienced great trauma, Catch A Lift is not just a gym.

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