Sal Sanchez, 60, Chino. (Clay Fowler/Los Angeles News Group)
Sal Sanchez, 60, Chino. (Clay Fowler/Los Angeles News Group)
Sal Sanchez, 60, of Chino was simply looking for a method to rehabilitate both rotator cuffs he injured while serving with the Army. Two and a half years later, he has completed nine marathons on a hand cycle, including the 28th Asics Los Angeles Marathon in a personal-best time of two hours and 26 minutes.

Sanchez is a 30-year veteran who served in the Navy before joining the Army, with whom he served a tour in Iraq in 2007. He sustained multiple injuries while in Iraq, but struggled to find a suitable mode of rehabilitation until he was furnished a hand bike by Achilles, a non-profit organization that aids disabled athletes.

"I was on 100 percent disability," Sanchez said. "Doing these marathons, it's been amazing.

I had so many injuries and this has strengthened me so much and helped me get back to where I am."

Sanchez is a Mexico native who moved to Diamond Bar after marrying in 1978. He has lived in Chino for the last 10 years.

The career military man served in Vietnam as well as Iraq. Following his tour in Iraq, he spent three years at Balboa hospital in the Naval Medical Center in San Diego before retiring in 2010.

"Sal never gave up," his physical therapist, Marla Knox, said. "He has maintained such a great attitude through all he's been through. It's important for people like him to see that even though you're injured, life isn't limited."


clay.fowler@inlandnewspapers.com

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