Friday, October 12, 2007

102 year old Tribe fan refuses to slow down

CLEVELAND -- Cleveland woman gets prosthetic leg and refuses to miss Indians game.

The oldest Tribe fan in the world lives in South Euclid, Ohio. Annie Barrow, just turned 102 years young.

Poor circulation forced doctors to amputate her right leg. But Annie refuses to slow down.

At the Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinic Monday she told the staff, "I refuse to complain because I hear people all the time making complaints and I don't know how it does any good".

Prosthetic expert Kevin Carroll and Matthew Manolio helped Annie with the fitting for her new artificial limb.

As Annie took her new leg for a test walk down the hallway, she smiled and said, "Yes, it's lighter than the one I had. This is good!"

Standing nearby, Matthew Manolio said, "she inspires the office staff and Annie inspires me. Just working with somebody who has been around as much as she has and seen as much as she has. She always has a story to tell you."

Born in 1905, Annie moved from a farm in Jackson Gap, Alabama to Cleveland when she was eighteen years old. Over the years she raised 11 foster children.

At her home in South Euclid you won't find any wheelchair ramps. She walks slowly up every step.Annie believes it keeps her young.

"They say using the steps is good exercise", she told Channel 3's Mike O'Mara, "so I take the stairs about four times a day." You can understand why the staff at the Hanger Prosthetics clinic celebrates her annual visit.

She's just that special.Said Hanger Vice President, Kevin Carroll, "Annie has been a great inspiration to me and also to other patients. I tell everybody all over the country about her all the time.Added Carroll, "if somebody is complaining that they are feeling old at 60, I make sure they hear about Annie's story. I tell them you're only a kid compared to her.

"Annie attended her first Cleveland Indians game at League Park back in 1925 and remains a devoted fan. Said Annie, "I used to go see the Indians every time they were playing at home in Cleveland.

I was there to cheer them on, even if I had to borrow the money to attend the game!"When asked about the playoffs with the New York Yankees, Annie paused and said quietly, "you know if they had won last night I would have been very happy. But they can always do it tonight.

"Annie added, "I'm 102 years old and there are times in these playoff games that are just too much for my heart to take. I have to turn off the TV and say a prayer."

Play Video for Mike O'Mara's story

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