Half his life in a wheelchair, Dayton leader offers message of hope: ‘You can get through it’

Monday was the 26th anniversary of the bicycle accident that left Dayton City Commissioner Darryl Fairchild paralyzed from the waist down.

Fairchild was 26 when he collided head-on with another cyclist as they rounded a bend in a bike path in Denver.

Fairchild, whose spinal cord was injured, said he’s now been in a wheelchair for as much time as he wasn’t before the accident.

Speaking at Wednesday’s commission meeting, Fairchild said it was a significant personal “mile marker” but also made him think of others who might be having a hard time this season.

MORE: Fairchild wins commission seat: ‘They recognized I was persistent’

Fairchild said he’s very grateful to all the family, friends and strangers who were there for him 26 years ago. He encouraged people to not lose hope.

“You can get through it,” he said, “and reach out to someone to support you.”

Fairchild also encouraged citizens to offer their help to people they think may be struggling.

Fairchild was elected to the city commission during a special election in May. He is the manager of chaplain services at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

He graduated from Belmont High School in 1984. He was a four-year letterman in baseball as a catcher, third baseman and shortstop, and a defensive end and backup quarterback in two varsity seasons on the Bison football team.

Today, Fairchild is an avid handcycler.

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