Disabled veteran Sarah Bettencourt gets newly renovated home in Clairemont

Bettencourt: They're giving me my life back
Natasha Zouves

CLAIREMONT, Calif. - Disabled Marine Cor s veteran !arah "etten#ourt $a%es u ever& 'ornin( to a ni(ht'are) she has a rare brain disorder that*s ro(ressivel& aral&+in( her bod&. "ut she sa&s a lo#al or(ani+ation is (ivin( her ho e.

“As a veteran, it*s ver& hard to as% for hel ,, said "etten#ourt in tears. -And it*s ver& hard to be a burden to
eo le. Es e#iall& $hen the& have to ta%e #are of basi# fun#tions., !he sa&s she al$a&s %ne$ she $anted to serve.

“Even $hen I $as a little %id, I used to see those re#ruitin( #o''er#ials on the T.. !o'eho$ I %ne$ I
$anted to be in unifor' servin( our #ountr& in so'e $a&, sha e or for',, said "etten#ourt. !he did (et to $ear the unifor', servin( in the Marine Cor s and 'arr&in( her hi(h s#hool s$eetheart. "ut then, in /001, it be(an $ith a tin(lin( in her left hand. 2ithin three &ears "etten#ourt $ould lose the abilit& to $al% on her o$n. !he sa&s do#tors still don*t %no$ e3a#tl& $hat*s $ron(. !he*s ine3 li#abl&

develo in( lesions in her brain that aral&+e different arts of her bod&. "ut she sa&s, it hasn*t tou#hed her s irit.

“I loo% at it as ever& da& is li%e Christ'as. Meanin( ever& da& I $a%e u and '& (ifts are the arts of '&
bod& that are $or%in(,, said "etten#ourt. 4er stor& is brin(in( #olle(e students and volunteers to(ether in Claire'ont as art of E'bra#e*s 4ealin( our 4eroes* 4o'es ro(ra'. The&*re ra#in( to re-build 'ost of her house in 5ust five da&s. It in#ludes ever&thin( fro' an e3 anded drive$a& and $heel#hair ra' at the front of the house, to a ne$ (arden at the side of the house. The ai' is to 'a%e (ettin( around easier for "etten#ourt.

“The&*re 5ust a erfe#t #ou le for us to #o'e to(ether as a #o''unit& and serve, sin#e the&*ve done so
'u#h to serve our #ountr&,6 said !ean !he ard, 7ounder of the E'bra#e ro(ra'.

This is the si3th su#h house E'bra#e has #o' leted and it*s #o' letel& free for the "etten#ourts. The ro5e#t is funded b& !an Die(o 8as 9 Ele#tri#, 4o'e De ot, :a#% in the "o3 7oundation and Militar& 4o'e Loans.

“Reall& to see her have her inde enden#e ba#% is the best blessin( I #ould have,, said !arah*s husband,
Matt "etten#ourt. 4e is a#tive dut& in the Nav& and said, -;eo le #o'e u and sa&, <=ou*re a (ood 'an for standin( b& her.* I don*t thin% of it that $a&. I 5ust love her. !o I $ould sta& b& her no 'atter $hat., !arah "etten#ourt 5ust #elebrated her >0th birthda& $ith her husband. !he sa&s she #an*t thin% of a better resent than 'ovin( into this house $ith hi'.

“2ords 5ust #an*t e3 ress $hat the&*re doin( for 'e. It*s better than $innin( the lotter&. The&*re (ivin( 'e
'& life ba#%,, said "etten#ourt.

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