Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, a former Marine who lost the lower part of his left leg during a 2011 tour in Afghanistan, finished the Boston Marathon for the second time Monday.
Sanchez used a prosthetic blade running leg and competed on behalf of Team Semper Fi, a charity that “provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post-9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.”
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“I just felt that I had to run the Boston Marathon. I wanted to run the race and support the bombing survivors, to show them that life goes on and all you have to do is just push through it,” Sanchez told Uproxx days before his first Boston Marathon in 2016.
Sanchez told GrindTV he lost much of his drive after suffering his wound in Afghanistan.
“The injury humbled me. I lost all my muscle mass. I lost a ton of weight. I couldn’t walk or move or stand up. I needed assistance just to get out of my wheelchair, and even then I couldn’t walk more than a foot without collapsing,” Sanchez lamented.
Sanchez kept at physical therapy for years and began posting his fitness exploits on social media, eventually garnering the strength to compete in the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon.
“I want to lead by example,” he declared. He continued, “I’m not going to go up to other amputees and be like, ‘You can do it!’ Instead, I hope that some people see what I’ve done and it invokes that fire within them to get over whatever is holding them back.”
Sanchez ran the race while holding an American flag.
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