Clarkstown police officer with amputated leg joins fundraiser

A Clarkstown police officer is raising funds for two organizations after losing a limb last year.

Matthew Bender hasn’t lost sight of his life after having his left leg amputated below the knee in a motorcycle accident in Tiels last fall.

A few weeks later he returned to the stage. A few months later, he rejoined the Clarkstown police force.

“Oh my god, no. Nothing’s going to stop me,” Bender says.

Running with guts, he took himself a step further.

“Actually, I actually registered while I was still in the hospital after being told my leg had to be amputated. [Tough] I was confused because I was going to prove that this wasn’t going to stop me,” he adds.

The Marine Corps veteran, a 20-plus year officer, will take part in the Tough Mudder Race on a 10-mile obstacle course next month.

He is running to raise funds for the Gary Sinise Foundation, which helps veterans, first responders, and their families, and the Life by Music charity, which connects those without access to music. It’s a schedule.

He calls it Bender’s Crusade.

So far, he has raised thousands of dollars and hopes other donors will help him raise even more.

“So I want to help them and hopefully help other people like me who didn’t recover as quickly and get a little boost,” Bender says.

Bender is training with his daughter, Sam, who will be racing in September.

“The last time you get up is important to show your kids that it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down,” he says.

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