My Bio

Tom Cannalonga

Born May 7 1964

Just a "normal" all American boy. On July 26 1981 at 4:20pm my life was changed. I was partying with my friends at the Jersey shore. We went to the ocean to swim before driving home. I jumped in the water and swam out. I picked up the first big wave to body surf back to shore. The wave got hold of me and slammed me down head first into the beach. With a pop, a flash of light, and an electric shock through my body, I was paralyzed. I received a spinal cord injury, I broke my neck. I am a C6-C7 incomplete quad.

The months and years to follow would be a trial I would not wish on my worst enemy. But life goes on. I found a girl friend, went back to school then got a good job. I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ and began my journey learning about true faith. Life was not all that bad in a wheelchair. Especially knowing by faith one day I would be out of the chair and whole. However, one thing hurt, and hurt bad. Not being able to ski. I missed it. I had no use for the winter and I was depressed if someone told me about a ski trip. It was the only thing that made me feel "handicapped". Then I saw a mono-skier on TV. This guy was skiing, carving turns and getting air. That was it! I had to do it. I found an adaptive ski program in SkiWindham NY and started taking lessons. Well after one lesson I was hooked and after about eight lessons I got my own mono. Now I am seeking BIG AIR and the Black Diamond Challenge. Not long after I started to ski I created the web site for this cause.

The confidence I gained through skiing really helped me to cope with the daily challenges I face in a wheelchair. It is a physical confidence that my body will do what I want to do. On the emotional side I get my strength from faith in God. I go to a great church. I have been involved in church since 1984 and have gone through bible school. I teach in the church and now GOd is using my gift of teaching to teach skiing.

My life is full, I have a wife I love dearly, we have been married for over ten years and we have three daughters. I work and my wife stays home with the children. We feel that it is better to sacrifice a few years now when the children are most impressionable. Then to let someone else make an impression on our kids, our legacy. I enjoy sharing my life experiences with others to maybe help them make a choice for the better. I have spoke at high school's and rehabilitation centers, encouraging those to press on and break through. If life hands you a lemon, make lemon aid, have a lemon aid party and invite everyone you know. I am a man who feels that Life is good, so enjoy life.

A more detailed bio

back home