Newly crowned Ms. Wheelchair America 2015 Sam Schroth, 22 years old from Appleton, Wisconsin, is new to the wheelchair game. She was injured less than two years ago in a freak accident just before she was about to move onto her secondary studies.
But the thing about Sam – she’s one of those determined individuals who despite being a paraplegic couldn’t sit still for long. Not only did she win Ms. Wheelchair America as a newbie paraplegic, she’s switching gears with her studies and is moving onto an even more prestigious degree.
A farm girl at heart with the courage and the drive you would expect, check out our newest SCI Superstar – Sam Schroth.
Why she’s fearless
Sam’s life was literally stopped in its tracks, and a 5 ft. long, 1 ft. wide dead tree was to blame. In May 2013, while helping friends install a dock at a cabin in Northern Minnesota, a dead out of nowhere fell on her back, crushing her T7-8 vertebrae. Her spinal cord was bruised, leaving her with no movement below her belly button, and the injury could have come at a worse time.
A week prior, she graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in pre-veterinary medicine. She loved working with animals ever since her early years on the farm, but after her injury, and her subsequent rehab at Craig Hospital in Colorado, she decided she wanted to change her career aspirations.
Instead of becoming a veterinarian, Sam now wants to become a medical doctor for spinal cord injured individuals; a rehab doc/physiatrist, being that it’s an area she’s now passionately interested in. Sam was also engaged before her injury and was supposed to get married in August of that year, but that plan, along with her other plans, have been delayed.
But the great thing about Sam is that she’s taking everything in stride. Within months of her injury she had the confidence to speak in front of a large group of people at her benefit, sharing them details about her new life, and this amazing quote: “Just like your ability to walk doesn’t define who you are, my inability to walk doesn’t either,” she says.
This skill of communications is the hallmark trait of Sam, and is why she won Ms. Wheelchair America. Along with becoming a doctor, she also wants to use her new life to inspire others, both disabled and able bodied, which is exactly why she entered the pageant for Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin (and won) before competing in the national pageant.
This summer Sam has also been dabbling in handcycling. Craig introduced her to several new adapted sports and she’s excited to see what sport she excels at. A former runner who was planning on running a marathon, she now has his eyes on one day completing a triathalon, and we have no doubt she’ll do it.
A true motivator, we hope knowing Sam exists makes your world brighter. We now leave you with another beautiful Sam quote: “In my life, I know I will never sit still. Will you?”
What do you think is the best motivator after an injury?
– Sam’s site: Never Sitting Still
– Facebook page: Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin 2014 Samantha Schroth
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