Dear Athletes Helping Athletes,
My name is Samantha Clonch. I'm 9½ years old. I was in a car accident in 2002 and paralyzed now
from my chest down. I would like to have a handcycle because I would be able to ride a bike
again. I like to play sports and to play with my friends. I want to be a good sports player
Hello, my name is Tammy Clonch and I'm writing to you in regards for a handcycle grant. I have
a 9½ year old daughter, Samantha.
Samantha was involved in a car accident July 6, 2002 and now is paralyzed from her chest down.
Samantha was with friends of the family returning from vacation at Kings Island in Cincinnati,
Ohio. The van Samantha was riding in ran a red light and hit another van. The driver of the
other ban was killed and Samantha is paralyzed. They were the two people with the most
injuries. The adults she was driving with didn't have her in a seat belt. Sam was life flighted
to Dayton, OH to a Trauma Center due to life threatening injuries. Me and my husband received
the phone call about 7pm that she was involved in a car accident. We just got our 4-year-old
son and left for Cincinnati. We were about half way there when we were told she may have spinal
cord injuries. She was at Dayton Children's Medical Center. She had emergency surgery about
1am. She stayed in Pediatric Intensive Care for three weeks and then she was transferred to the
Cleveland Clinic Rehab for Children. Samantha was there for six weeks. Then when we returned
home, we had to sell our home due to it wasn't accessible for a wheelchair. We had to move in
with my parents till we could find a home suitable. We had to build due to there aren't many
homes wheelchair accessible. We have been in the new home now for eight months. We continue to
realize that there are many things that are not accessible for a disabled child. We do the best
we can, but some days are just overwhelming.
Before the accident, Samantha was a very healthy and active little girl. Samantha loved to jump
rope, play tag, basketball, baseball, swim, play with dolls and Barbies. Samantha and her
friend, Taylor, were always together. Now it is hard for them to play together due to Samantha
being in her chair and this is too much for Taylor to see. She feels guilty that she can do
things that Samantha can't. Samantha needs to exercise daily to keep up her arm strength and
weight control. Having a handcycle would be wonderful. It would allow her to do all of those
things at once and have fun doing it.