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Bender's Crusade

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My name is Matthew Bender. I am a father of two, a former Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, a 25 year veteran of The Clarkstown Police Department in NY and an active musician. On October 12, 2021 I was involved in a horrible motorcycle accident. On October 21, 2021 the heartbreaking decision to amputate my left leg below the knee was made. The shock and my outlook on life after hearing this news was devastating. I had no idea of how this would impact not only my life but the lives of my family and children. I was still grateful for my life but, was scared as to what my future was to become. Two days after my amputation I was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital where the real work began. Through the tremendous support of my family and friends I was able to persevere and overcome my injuries, making a full and complete recovery. In less than four months from my surgery I was able to return to full duty as an active police officer and also, return to my love of music and returned to performing on stage once again.
This fundraiser is NOT for me. I received a tremendous amount of support from friends and family. I do know there are many military veterans, police officers, firemen, EMT's and citizens who go through similar such injuries and don't have the same support system that I did. I decided that I wanted to use my story to raise money and awareness to help those that are having difficulties coping with the tragic loss of a limb. It is why I want to raise money for two charities that are close to my heart, The Gary Sinise Foundation, who help and support our military veterans as well as first responders and their families. The second is The Life By Music charity that brings the joy and healing the musical arts have to those that unfortunately don't have the means or access too.
Music, the military, police work and my family are the reasons I recovered as fast and as fully as I did. So well that on September 10th of this year I am competing in a Tough Mudder race which is a 10 mile obstacle course.
ALL donations received will be split 50/50 between The Gary Sinise Foundation and the Life By Music charity. So please donate to these worthy causes and help. Every penny is appreciated and is going to a great cause. This fundraiser is to help others to return to normal lives and improve their future. These devastating and severe injuries do not have to limit anyone. They can be overcome and even surpass any difficulty that arrises. So, please help me to help all those others out there. Please share this with everyone you know. Thank you so much in advance as words can not convey my gratitude to all of you.
Semper Fi
Matt "iamSteelPiper" Bender


  • David Fried
    • $75 
    • 2 yrs
  • Sandra Wirchansky
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Desiree Thomas
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Laurie Santulli
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs
  • Joe Koester
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs

Fundraising team (2)

Matthew Bender
Thiells, NY
Gwen Press
Team member

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