COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Nothing beats the taste of home cooking. Just ask Sarah Evans.
After losing her left leg to cancer, the Air Force captain spent several months rehabbing at the Center for the Intrepid in Texas, and Evans’s mother Teresita Mauney helped her feel right at home.
“I’d bring her lunch and dinner every day because she didn’t like the hospital food,” Mauney said. “She likes my sour soup.”
Once she learned the news about her daughter’s amputation, Mauney traveled from her home in Florida to Texas and stayed six months with Evans as she rehabbed.
“When I first got sick, she was in San Antonio with me,” Evans said. “She’s been by me the whole time. She was with me at the hospital a lot and brought me some good home cooking. No one can do it like mom does.”
Competition for the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte kicked off Sunday at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. For Evans, being able to celebrate Mother’s Day at Warrior Games was an opportunity to thank her mom for all her support.
“This is the first time she’s seen me in a hand bike,” said Evans, who’s competing for the Ultimate Champion title. “This is the first time she’s actually seen me in any kind of competition like this since my injury (last April). So it’s good for her to see how far I’ve come.”
Martha Acosta received an extra bonus when she watched her son – Marine Sgt. Jorge Toledo – win bronze in the men’s bicycle physical disability on Sunday.
She couldn’t exactly describe how she felt seeing her son be a part of Warrior Games, especially as he walked with his fellow Marines on Saturday’s Opening Ceremony.
“Muy emocionante,” Acosta said. “Very emotional.”
Toledo sustained injuries in his skull, left leg and lungs, as well as suffered a concussion and nerve damage when his helicopter crashed during a predeployment training.
Toledo’s wife notified Acosta about his accident, and Acosta didn’t think twice about flying out to California to help her son.
“She’s been there since Day One as soon as she found out,” Toledo said. “I’ve got two kids – a 9-year-old-daughter and a 2-year-old-boy. She flew out to California and helped out my wife and kids. I was bed-ridden for nearly five months.”
“She’s been a big driving factor,” Toledo added. “To have my mother out here to support and watch — I just got to kick more butt to show off to her.”
After just one day of competition, he’s already stood on the podium, with his mother gazing on with a smile.
Not bad for Toledo’s first-ever Warrior Games.
For more on the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte, visit teamusa.org/warriorgames/.