Samuel Palmisano
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Samuel Palmisano

Samuel Palmisano

Samuel Palmisano

Age: 7

Hi my name is Sam Palmisano. I would love a handcycle because I want to go fast. I want to ride my handcycle to School.

Dear Athletes Helping Athletes,

I cannot describe the excitement I had when I found your organization. Our son Sam was born on July 31, 2001 with spina bifida, hydrocephalus and Arnold Chiari Malformation. The doctor told us that Sam would never walk and would be brain-damaged and we should abort. Obviously, we did not.

Sam has had 9 surgeries so far and is doing very well. Through a lot of hard work and many hours of therapy, Sam can walk short distances but uses his wheelchair often. He is very bright and happy. His older brother's and sister are very good athletes and participate in many sports. Sam would love to also. We are in a small community, which doesn't have a lot of opportunities for sports with kids with disabilities. We put Sam on a soccer team for challenged kids, but he was the only young child, everyone else was in their teens and it was dangerous for him to be out there. He has also participated in karate. He has a fabulous karate teacher, but due to ankle problems, Sam was forced to take a break. His brothers will be playing football in the fall and he really wants to do that too, but due to shunts and the fact that he really can't run we aren't able to let him. His dream is to go fast!!

When we were looking on line at the handcycles, he was so excited. He said, "you mean I pedal with my hands? Yeepee" We have tried everything to get him to be able to ride a bike. We were successful with a tricycle as long as we taped his feet down. This was okay, but now he is too big. We tried to get a bike that attached to mine, but Sam didn't have the balance to stay up, plus with the safety factor we had to give the bike away. Sam would love to bike to school everyday with his 2 brothers and sister. Although, we have not had any exposure to the handcycle because of our small community and we don't know anyone that has one, I really feel that Sam would be capable of riding one and would truly enjoy it. I also know that Sam would use it a lot due to the fact that we would be able to ride bikes to School. My husband is a runner and we have even talked about signing Sam up for some races. They would be 5k's in our area and Sam may be the only on riding a handcycle, but it's something he could do here. We would be so honored if you would accept our application. I really think it would boost Sam's self-esteem and make him feel like a regular kid.

Thank you so much for your consideration.

Wendy Palmisano

August 25, 2008
Dear AHA,

Here's some pics of Sam on his new handcycle. He has been riding all weekend. We've gone on 2 long bike rides and then spent hours in our cul-de-sac riding with his friends. It was great that he could keep up and was equal.(well kinda, the other kids were jealous of his bike)

The first picture is Sam's face when he learned he was going to recieve the handcycle. The others are of him on it!!

Thanks again. You guys are awesome. You made one little boy very very happy.

God bless you,
                                                                                Wendy Palmisano             

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