Dear Athletes Helping Athletes,
Hi, I'm Sasha Tiernan, I was born in Michigan. I have cerebral palsy and I'm adopted. I am 12
years old and going on thirteen. I go to Grant middle school. I'm in the 7th grade. But, let me
start at the beginning. As I said, I was born in Michigan, I was a premature baby at birth. The
doctors had to perform a c-section because I was in distress. I had the umbilical cord wrapped
around my neck. I was left too long without oxygen. That¿s why I have cerebral palsy. My mom
and dad were not nice parents. They hit me and did a lot of other bad things. But anyway, I'm
in 7th grade and doing great getting around in my adoptive home. I have two great moms that
love me very much. I have everything a girl could ask for. I have good food and I love to go to
the movies and bake and go to the nature center. My moms are nice to me... I just had a surgery
not too long ago. I'm doing good about being independent. I want a handcycle because I have a
hard time pedaling a regular bicycle.
To Whom It May Concern:
We are writing to apply for a handcycle grant for our 12 year old daughter Sasha Tiernan. She
has spastic diaplegic cerebral palsy and walks with forearm crutches and orthotics. Currently,
she uses her wheelchair only for school and longer outing. Sasha had two orthopedic surgeries,
out of state, within the last 15 months and has been a hard worker in her rehab and in her
life. Her life wasn't always easy. She joined our family through adoption 3 ½ years ago. Before
that, she was removed from an abusive home at age 5 and then endured multiple foster care
placements. She is our only child and we treasure her.
We had the opportunity last summer to borrow a handcycle from our local wheelchair sports camp
ground, Muth Barry, for an entire year. We took family rides bout three times a week. The
handcycle ever rode on the back of our car last summer to Vail, CO on vacation. Sasha rode the
3 mile paved trail by the stream into town and back everyday for a week, while we enjoyed a
6-mile walk each day. They cycle enabled our family to be active in the outdoors together. We
also participated in a fundraiser family ride for our local museum. We believe this will be a
lifelong sport for her just as it is for us and that as she matures she will be able to mentor
other children in handcylcing.
Sasha's upper body strength has improved significantly since using the handcycle this past
year. The other sports that she enjoys, swimming, wheelchair basketball, and dance, were
enhanced by her increased strength. She is not a child that like to be idle for long. It also
has been wonderful to see her bike up and down the street with the other kids in our
neighborhood. She can keep up with them in a way she never could on foot. Yesterday we had to
return the borrowed handcycle and we miss it a lot already! It has become a part of our routine
with her. In our mild climate, we can ride all year long.
Please consider us for your grant recipient program and put us on any mailing list that would
inform us of upcoming handcycling events. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sharon Tiernan & Susan Mattson