Back to 1-16-2011 Expanded Column

Addendum to the 1-16-2011 Barbwire

Donna Cline 1959-1999

From the website of the governor of Texas
The above link is now broken, as is my heart.

The late Rep. Barbara Jordan, D-Texas, left, and Donna Leslie Cline.

Note: Donna also worked at KENS TV-5, the San Antonio, Texas, CBS affiliate.



Miss Wheelchair Nevada 1986 Donna Cline and first runnerup Madonna Long at the pageant that made them friends forever.


Memories from Madonna Long

I so adored Donna, Her memory lives on as you can tell. She and I met in brief passing but we always had a connection. I think that happens when people who are faced with circumstances beyond their control have an understanding of each other and form a beautiful friendship. I am not sure you know this, but I too lost my best friend in the school bus accident that paralyzed me. So Donna and I had so much in common in that way. We talked about it often.

My heart was so broke when I learned she died. She was the first woman in a wheelchair who wore high heels like I did. We would laugh about it in fact she told me in DC, I took the other foot petal off my chair because of you Madonna, I only had one foot peddle to cross my legs. she did too. I know she is with her friend now in heaven and she with her mother too.

Here are some more photos from the White House too. I get to see Harry (Reid) often, and I always get a kick out of him. He gives me a kiss no matter where we are and you should see people faces.

In fact old Max Baucus about flipped over in Harry's office when Senator Baucus and I had a brief meeting in the senate office building when I grabbed him, to talk to him about a medicare issue that he was placing in finance. He did not know who I was, but the next day or so he was in Sen. Reid's office and I was there. He pointed at me. "OH that lady from Montana bank (a bank I worked at after a bank in Reno), then Senator Reid said. "Oh, she is from Battle Mountain, Nevada, and told everyone in his chambers who I was, then came and kissed me on the cheek and looked at Max Baucus and said. "I only kiss the most beautiful women anyway."

Oh you should have seen Senator Baucus and his face. Later, his aide Billy Wynne came up to me and said "Madonna, you and I speak often on legislation and not once did you tell me Senator Reid loves you."

I just looked right back at him and said "You are on a need to know basis. He just laughed..."

I adore (Nevada State AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer) Danny (Thompson) and Senator Reid. I do what I do now because of the beautiful people in my past like Danny Thompson and Donna Cline.

I came across your web page when I was searching for some info on my dear friend Donna Cline, then I sAW your photo. We have met before on events in Nevada when I ran for State Assembly. I had a friend on face book ask for some photos of me and Donna Cline.

Donna and I met when an architect I worked for in Reno entered me in the in the Ms. Wheelchair Nevada program. I met Donna on Ms Wheelchair Nevada and I was runner up. We stayed great friends and I was so sad to hear of her passing some years ago.

I talked to Danny the other day. I sure miss him. He was one of those people I adore and so respect. I was so blessed to have him help me and be my long time friend when I ran for State Assembly so long a go. I was working for a company I consult for here in Pennsylvania where I live now, and the man from one of the unions here I had my meeting with knew Dan. I was like, "who does not know Danny".. LOL.. So we called him.

Senator Reid asked me when I was on capital hill if I missed the mountain ranges in Nevada.

I said, "Well yes I do, but there are trees in Pennsylvania."

He is always so kind and good to me when I am working on capital hill. I work for a wheelchair manufacturer here in Pennsylvania, I am the consumer lobbyist and work with disability groups all over the USA on issues to keep people in their wheelchairs. I really love it. I did get my degree in Homeland Security, and I work on emergency management consulting for emergency managers on evacuating people with disabilities. I work on FEMA's community action committee and with the president's council as well.

I had to say hello to you, since I read the article on Donna and her friend. She was the first role model I had and had met as a woman with a disability and she inspired me. Many women in the disability community I meet when I travel knew her.

Here are some photos of her and I. We were at the president's committee in DC right after I ran for state assembly.

I love what I do know, here are some photos for you. Please take good care of my friend Danny. If not for the wonderful people I love and miss in Nevada, I would not have the opportunity that I do today — to be a single disabled mother who so many believed in and succeeded.

I wish you well, and keep up the great writing.


Madonna Long

Madonna Long returns to Nevada to fight for the rights of the disabled
Barbwire / Sparks Tribune / 4-28-2015

In memory of Donna Cline — an inspiration to me
By Julie A. Prough

Monday, January 3, 2011, 8:54 p.m.

It only takes a couple minutes to reach out to someone and inspire them. That is all it took for Donna Cline to inspire me.

This is my letter to Donna Cline. I wish she were alive to read it.

This is my letter to you!! I know You are in Heaven!

Dear Donna:

I don't even know if you would remember me.

We only met once and talked briefly at the President's Commission on Employment for People with Disabilities in Washington, DC, in 1992. I think we only talked two minutes.

I have a fond memory of you and never forgot. I wish you were still alive for me to tell you that you really inspired me that day.

When we met I was just a pup. I was a young Crip in my early 20's, still in college and unsure of where my life was going. Back then I was even afraid to fly in an airplane.

When I first saw you and Madonna Long, I was deeply impressed.

Two Amazing women from Nevada.

You told me you were Miss Wheelchair Nevada and Madonna said she was the runner-up; you also told me that you were a news anchor for a local television station in Nevada.

I thought that was the coolest. I never heard of a woman with a physical disability being a news anchor. You were the first.

The sparkle in your eyes revealed you had a huge passion for life.

Then you went into the night.

Little did I know that would be the last time I would ever see you.

I thank you with all my heart for the hope, the strength your presence had given me that day.

It gave me the power to achieve my goals as a woman with a disability.

Fourteen years later, when I lived in Georgia, I reconnected with Madonna Long via Internet, who said you passed away.

I was deeply saddened by the news.

My memory of you NEVER, NEVER faded away.

I thought of you the other day.

I asked Madonna if she had any photographs of you??

She said she has a lot of you and her.

I am blessed to have your memory to share with Madonna.

By the way, Madonna now lives in Pennsylvania. That is way Cool!!!

RIP Donna Cline!!


Happy 52nd birthday to Donna and Debbie.Andrew Barbano, 1-16-2011.

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