by AMY LEHRER | photo by Spark Photography

Pursuing Medical Miracles

A friend’s father becomes a catalyst for Sabine Menzhausen’s life focus. Attempting to alleviate harsh symptoms of MS exacerbated by summer heat, Mike took his daughter and Sabine to the ice skating rink. Fascinated by gliding, spinning synchronized ice skating performers, Sabine became hooked. Many lessons later she began as an alternate skater and worked her way up to a coveted position on the advanced senior team. In Sabine’s acceptance letter to Team Del Sol, her coach wrote, “Sabine, I won’t lie; it’s going to be brutal! But I know I can count on one thing – your work ethic.” Numerous challenging 4:10 a.m. practices later, Sabine and her team’s hard work paid off; they placed fifth at the National Synchronized Championships held in Providence, RI last March. She even dreams that one day synchronized ice skating will become an Olympic sport.


Inspired by Mike’s fight to enjoy life while managing MS symptoms, Sabine volunteered for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

At a three-mile MS walk, Betsy, a women who was spent and in tears, crossed the finish line due to her tenacity and the aid of a walker. Deeply moved, Sabine shared, “It was at this moment that I realized what my work with the MS Society meant to me and why I was doing it. If Mike and Betsy could keep going, so could I.” After raising $5,535 for MS research over three years, becoming the 52nd top fundraiser in San Diego for the 2013 MS walk, and volunteering 600 hours, Sabine earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award. She’s most proud of raising $835 hauling Christmas trees to the recycling center for neighbors using her grandpa’s truck.

student_2Accomplished academically as well, Sabine is a member of the National Honors Society with a 4.5 GPA. She aspires to major in biology as a pre-med student to become a doctor who can find cures and vaccines for autoimmune diseases like MS in order to improve human lives.


This amazingly accomplished teen with surprising triple German, Mexican, and American citizenships has learned a valuable life lesson from Mike: despite the odds, live life to its fullest. Due to his influence she continually embraces new opportunities and experiences while dedicating herself to helping others.

Name: Sabine Menzhausen (17)
School: Scripps Ranch High School
Grade: 11
Parents: Michelle (Mom) and Rich Israel;
Marco (Dad) and Adriana Menzhausen
Siblings: I am the only girl with a total of five brothers; Jason, Kevin,
and Travis Israel, and Marco and Max Menzhausen
Favorite Places in 92131: Miramar Lake, the duck pond next to the Scripps Ranch Library, and Miramar Overlook Park