ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BRENDA CONYERS
Getting from place to place may be a little bit easier now for Amanda Steiner of Marion.
The 16-year-old was the recipent of a high-end New York Yankee-themed Quickie S-626 power wheelchair valued at nearly $10,000.
The chair was presented July 18 at the Craig Hospital’s Ninth Annual Motorsports Day in Englewood, Colo. Amanda and her family were special guests at the NHRA Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals the evening of July 20.
“We were actually on the track with them,” Amanda said, “and when they started up, it was very loud.”
Amanda and her father, Perry Steiner, were injured in a car accident in 1998. The accident left Amanda with partial paralysis and in need of an electric wheelchair.
The Marion teen was chosen out of six 13- to 21-year-olds under consideration to receive the new chair, which she says should last her for the next six to seven years.
Sunrise Medical, the company that manufactures the Quickie S-626, joined with Gwynn/Steinbrenner Racing Team to make the presentation possible.
Darrell Gwynn, a 1983 National Hot Rod Association top alcohol dragster champion, was injured in a drag racing exhibition in England April 15, 1990.
He is now an active advocate for both patients with spinal cord injuries and for spinal cord injury research.
His father, Jerry, is a partner in the team.
The partnership also includes Hank Steinbrenner and his father, George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankee baseball team.
Gwynn’s New York Yankees racing team participated in the NHRA Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison July 19 through July 22.
Steiner said the family had a good time on the trip, meeting racing celebrities and getting to see the races up close.
Amanda’s picture was taken with past national champion of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series, Angelle Savorie, and she said she may have even been included in part of the ESPN 2 coverage of the event.
Steiner said she is happy with her new wheelchair, which has special features such as an electrically adjustable back that allows her to re-position herself and a brushless geared drive to provide superior torque and maneuverability.
She said the new chair is lower to the ground than her old chair, which makes it easier for her to drive the family van.