Courtesy of Ernie Hoftyzer, Lake Tahoe.

On April 15th Sam Howell was on a bicycle ride in Malibu, California in preparation for the upcoming AIDS Lifecycle ride when the front wheel unexpectedly fell off his bike. He broke his neck and was immediately paralyzed. Sam fractured multiple vertebrae and was airlifted to UCLA for a 6-hour surgery where his neck was fused from C2-C6.

Sam is now learning to use his body and get all the skills and resources he needs for life out of the hospital.

Sam helped crew his sister Kate Howell’s first Catalina Channel crossing. “Sam been has always been supportive of my swimming and helped crew my Catalina channel crossing and supporting him on this journey as been an honor for me. I have never been more proud to be his sister. My goal with this swim is to raise enough to cover his initial days [in a care facility] as well as funds to cover his medical expenses and increased costs of living,” says Kate.

Now it is Kate’s turn to help her brother.

Tomorrow, she will swim the length of Lake Tahoe with the goal of raising US$21,000 to help to Sam and his costly recovery.

Kate recalls, “Lake Tahoe has always held a special place in my heart and we used to camp there every year as children, just as my mom did throughout her childhood. Lake Tahoe length has been a dream of mine for years as I have swam the width and multiple multi-day circumferences. I didn’t think the swim would be a reality this year, but Tom Linthicum suggested we do it as a fundraiser and I feel so grateful for the opportunity.”

Swimming for Sammy fundraiser is posted here.

To date, she has raised US$17,396 of the US$21,000 goal.

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