2016 Ms. Wheelchair Washington

2016 Ms. Wheelchair Washington
Nicole Martini


As Ms. Wheelchair Washington 2010, I would like to dedicate this year to the best friend anyone could ever ask for Tony McCane. At only 32 years old Tony died of pneumonia on March 10, 2010. I remember seeing him around Tacoma Community College always smiling, laughing, and making jokes… just wondering, “It’d be nice to have that great spirit!” He gave anything to help someone else. At the time I was very depressed, lonely and unmotivated to the point that I was bulimic. From the first time we talked, we were together constantly. He made it his mission to make sure I never felt alone again. If I sent him a text message at 1am saying I need to talk to you tomorrow, he called me and said “tomorrow the problem will be gone, let’s talk now.” According to Tony, if there’s a problem, acknowledge it, and work on fixing it. There is no shame in that, but honor. He never placed judgment on anyone.

As time went on, I began to overcome all my insecurities and negative feelings. We realized, we both had a passion for people with disabilities, young people, and people who weren’t quite on the right track. He began to include me in every mission he had.

Once I caught on, I took his passion and applied it to my visions. I began to accept my problems as things that make me stronger. Just like Tony lived to help those around him, I began to develop the same heart. Now, I have achieved my highest accomplishment yet. I am Ms. Wheelchair Washington 2010! I would not be here today if it wasn’t for him instilling so much time and love into my life. It’s my turn to take what he gave me and use it to carry on his legacy with my title as Ms. Wheelchair Washington!

It’s still unbelievable but he’s gone to be with Jesus. For the past year or so, we both increased our schedule so much that we didn’t have as much time together as we did before. But God blessed me with the privilege of being with him and the family for the entire day before his passing. It was with a grateful heart that I dedicate this year in the Ms. Wheelchair Washington community to Tony McCane. Everything I do is because he took the time to comfort me. It showed me the power that lies within me. I have the power to give someone what Tony gave me. LIFE! He changed lives!

I want to say “thank you” to all the past Ms. Wheelchair Washington’s! You have all been so supportive through all of this! Thank you Jesus for all that you are and for giving me the honor of having Tony in my life! Because of Tony my life has not been the same! I am truly blessed! I LOVE YOU TONY!!!!!

“We will miss Tony. He was very much loved by all. He had a heart of gold, a smile that could light up a grand ballroom, a laugh that was contagious, a joy that brought peace in the midst of chaos, and words that brought encouragement when no one else believed in you. He passed early but he lived a full life and left a legacy that few can compare to. We could all learn from Tony… He went through so much and still kept that beautiful smile on his face, he still managed to glow. His spirit marks his legacy and we should all live our lives in light of how he lived his. I love you Tony, thank you for everything, you will forever be remembered in my heart, mind and spirit. You are my inspiration…” -- Klarissa Monteros