‘Everybody knows the one-legged lady’: Sedlak finds success on the links
GOTHENBURG, Neb. (KSNB) - Mandi Sedlak received incomprehensible news at 13-years-old. She had cancer.
“I believe everything happens for a reason,” she said.
Sedlak suffered from a rare form of cancer called plantar neurofibromatosis, which led to the amputation of her right leg at 21.
“Prior to that, I had 10 surgeries and that included a transplant and radiation,” Sedlak said. “And then they did the amputation. Being a 21-year-old female, it’s like, ‘I’ll never wear a skirt again or shorts. I’ll always be seen with long pants on.’”
Before cancer turned her life upside-down, Sedlak was a competitive gymnast with interest from college programs. After, she turned to another sport that allowed her to maintain her drive.
“Following the amputation, golf was just a way for me to get out and be competitive,” she said.
Sedlak and her husband, Jim, were fated to meet as a result of her diagnosis, too.
“Not only is Jim my prosthetist who makes my leg, fortunate for that and that’s how we met,” Mandi Sedlak said. “He’s my best friend. He really is.”
“It’s no cakewalk being an amputee and she never complains,” Jim Sedlak added. “She’s a tough bird.”
And she is now slouch on the golf course, either. In fact, Mandi Sedlak came in third place overall in the national inaugural USGA U.S. Adaptive Golf Open in Pinehurst, North Carolina in July.
“Everybody knows the one-legged lady, but when they see her hit a golf ball they’re just like, ‘Wow,’” Jim Sedlak said.
“It was above and beyond anything that certainly my husband and I could have ever dreamt or imagined,” Mandi Sedlak added. “It’s an honor to represent the state of Nebraska.”
And no matter what obstacles arise, Mandi Sedlak is prepared to deal with them. One swing of the club at a time.
“I’m no different,” she said. “I’m missing a leg, but I’m no different than everybody else.”
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