Niagara Gazette

Communities

October 8, 2012

Triple amputee knows about defying the odds

Niagara Gazette — A young man with a big personality and a whole lot of perseverance made an appearance at Kenmore Mercy Hospital Monday afternoon. 

Cameron Clapp, now 26, lost both his legs and his right arm when he was hit by a train at the age of 15 in his home state of California.

And in 2008, his twin brother died of a drug overdose.

But despite his many struggles, Clapp is now thriving — and walking. He came to Kenmore Monday to share how he carried on. 

"I've had a lot of bad things happen to me," he said. "But the important part is that I got back up again." 

The accident occurred just a few days after the Sept. 11 attacks, and Clapp and his friends had built a shrine of candles in memory of the victims at a beach across the street from his California home.

"I didn't know how to emotionally deal with it all, and I was drinking pretty heavily," Clapp said. "I was standing on the train tracks, looking at the memorial and thinking about how much those people had lost, but I had no idea the loss I was going to experience that night." 

Clapp passed out on the track, and just a few moments later, a train came. Thanks to first responders, Clapp's life was spared but the locomotive mangled three of his limbs. 

Clapp said he remembers waking up in the hospital bed, wondering what his life would be like.

"I was full of fear," he said. 

Three weeks later, Clapp was released from the hospital in a wheelchair. Doctors told him he would never walk again.

Clapp was determined to walk and set himself upon the goal. He swam to build up upper body strength and walked around on his amputated legs for five months.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Communities
  • Hagar 072914  14 Sammy Hagar takes Artpark crowd on rockin' journey

    Sammy Hagar brought his “A Journey Through the History of Rock” tour to Lewiston Tuesday, and it was both a fruitful journey and solid history lesson.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar 072914  1 SLIDESHOW: Sammy Hagar rocks Artpark Tuesday night

    Sammy Hagar brought his “A Journey Through the History of Rock” tour to Lewiston Tuesday, and it was both a fruitful journey and solid history lesson.

    July 30, 2014 14 Photos

  • SUN LIFE tattoo 3 072714.jpg [Duplicate] Behind the tattoo gun — Niagara Tatoo Expo coming up

    Tattoos can be a touchy subject. Of course, people have heard they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; still, people continue to report being denied jobs and being judged harshly for proudly displaying their ink. 

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • NIA Photobomb art 1 072814 Photobombed — Grand Island woman gains internet fame for her momentary star power

    A Grand Island native has become an accidental superstar for photobombing Victoria's Secret model Karlie Kloss. On Monday, Kara Dudley, 22, had followed Taylor Swift into a SoHo clothing store hoping to catch a glimpse of the pop princess. Shortly after Dudley walked in Swift left, walking right past her.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • NIA Fire ceremony art 4 072714 Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1 celebrates 100 years with a new addition During the Lewiston Fire Company No. 1's dedication ceremony on Saturday, worn, digitally transferred film ran on an electronic projector in the hall's clubhouse as the abundant guests ate and drank. The images were of celebrations long passed, bygone firefighters at bat taking strikes in a pick-up game and misty plumes dancing against the skeletons of burnt-out structures.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • NIA Lewiston K9 art 072714 New police K9 coming on board in Lewiston The Lewiston Police Department has announced it has acquired a new K9 for Officer Scott Stafford -- and that it needs a little help from the community.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA LaSalle reunion art 072514 LaSalle classes to meet again for Hyde Park golf outing Perhaps it's because their building was demolished, leaving no physical evidence of their high school years that LaSalle High School grads are so true to their school. That's what Joel Holka thinks, anyway.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Equistar art 072514 Equi*Star celebrating 20th anniversary on Sunday The Equi*Star riding center in Burt will host an open house this Sunday in celebration of twenty years of providing therapeutic riding services.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hibbards anniversary art 1 072414 Hibbard's Original Frozen Custard celebrates 75 years in Lewiston When Jim Hibbard first heard the term "frozen custard," he thought somebody had put pudding in the freezer. "I thought it was like cooked custard when I first heard about it," he said recently, as he and his employees prepared to celebrate his business's 75th birthday this weekend.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • NAD Artpark review art 072414 A warm welcome back for Aretha Franklin at Artpark

    The Queen of Soul returned to her Western New York roots Tuesday night in what has in recent years become an annual pilgrimage. Aretha Franklin spent a good part of her youth in Buffalo and even told the Artpark crowd she loved the name Tonawanda so much when she was a child that she told people she wanted to live there when she grew up.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page