SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — Two decades ago, Beth Sanden suffered her first spinal injury while preparing for the Boston Marathon and the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.
Sanden was going downhill, going 45 to 50 mph on a bike, when she slid over broken asphalt and flipped over.
“My spinal cord was like an accordion,” she said. “All smushed together.”
She was told she’d never walk again. But she did walk again.
She jumped on a hand cycle and started doing marathons again. Sanden is the first woman to complete marathons on all seven continents and the North Pole on a hand cycle.
But in 2021, she faced another hurdle when she was in a car accident and suffered another spinal injury. Sanden said she had pain and her legs would give out, causing her to fall down.
She started using a cane and then, eventually, a wheelchair. Doctors told her she had re-injured her upper back.
Ozgur ordered more tests and determined her injuries and pain were because of something in her lower back. He performed surgery and said within 24 hours of the procedure, Sanden was already up and walking.
Since then, Sanden has finished multiple marathons and has even completed a goal to do seven marathons in seven states in seven days.