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Anani: "To Stephanie Dallam, with love"
April 23, 2005
(APR 23) WBAN has received an open letter from Sumya Anani that is to Stephanie Dallam, in a response to Dallam's open letter in which she wanted to  "Set the Record Straight" regarding her sister, Katie Dallam.

Anani wrote the following:

Stephanie, thank you so much for responding to me. I was surprised, but very happy.

Please accept my apologies with the poor choice of words when I said I was “mad” with Katie and her trainer. Shocked, disappointed, saddened, troubled, and confused would have been more accurate. Immediately after I had WBAN post it, and before I saw your response, I reread it and wanted to kick myself for that.

I want to point out that in no way was I trying to blame Katie’s injury solely to the car accident. Of course it didn’t help that she got hit 140 times in the head the next day. What I didn’t know was that her trainer had to be kept overnight in the hospital because of the seriousness of his injury. I’ve never heard of anyone being kept overnight because of a “low impact” wreck. What I was trying to articulate was that it didn’t matter that she didn’t hit her head. Someone in the car was seriously injured. That should have been a big red flag.

In my talk with doctors…you’re right, I have not talked specifically with Katie’s doctors. But through the years, and my quest to come to terms with this whole thing, I’ve talked to many, many doctors. ER doctors and regular doctors. And they’ve all said that it didn’t matter that she didn’t hit her head. Many brain bleeds have started with a small, minor, insignificant accident that people have walked or drove away from. Then, of course, getting hit 120-140 times, the next night, in a boxing match, turned it into a “total shredding of the main blood vessel in her brain.” Doctors have told me that sometimes people that walked away from accidents years later have suffered aneurisms and strokes. Only then do they trace back to find the possible source. Again, this is just what I’ve been told from doctor’s testimonies and stories.

The FACT that someone in the car had sustained a serious injury that bled, and was kept overnight, should have been an indicator of the kind of sudden jarring and rocking that Katie’s head could have went through, regardless if she hit her head or not. Low-speed impact??? But her trainer was bleeding??? OK, the car struck on the passenger side, so the effects of that impact might have caused her brain to slide side to side in her brain instead of front to back. (That would actually make more sense since I’ve read that much of the damage was on the left side of her brain…of course, not all that we read is true.)
It just leads me to believe that the accident had more to do with the injury than people might expect.

Plus, I’ve known for years the ignorant advice from Katie’s trainer. That is more appropriately where I could have said that I was “mad.” But it’s mixed with confusion too because Katie’s trainer, Joe Gallegos, was no stranger to boxing. In fact, he had trained former 3X world champion Stacey Prestage. Stacey fought Christy Martin, and everyone thought Stacey had won, including Christy. Christy had stormed out of the ring pissed off before they announced who won because Martin herself thought she had lost. They had to call her back in the ring to give her the W. So, I’m mystified by the ignorant advice that Katie had received from him…totally mystified.

So, no blame to Katie was ever my intention. Again, the choice of words I used was a poor one. Yes, there should have been better emergency care at the fight for sure. That is something I think every fighter would agree on. Hopefully, Senator John McCain will be able to help in that situation. Also, better trained referees and ego-less trainers would be another thing that would help promote safety in the sport…and might have helped this whole thing not to happen.

And that is just what I was trying to impress upon Stone Phillips. WHAT IF? IF ONLY? Those questions that we will never have the answers too are probably the ones that will haunt me. What if it was a boxing injury? What if the car wreck had nothing to do with it? What if the wreck had everything to do with it? If only the referee had stopped the fight? If only Katie’s trainer had stopped the fight? What if Katie’s trainer had told the ringside doctors about the wreck? I’ll never know.

One last thing that I didn’t mention in the last posting, but I saw it on Katie’s web site and wanted to respond. Just so you know, Katie and I BOTH wore 14-ounce gloves. You had written that only Katie had bigger gloves on. That is a not true. The promoter, for my protection since Katie had the advantage and outweighed me by 37 pounds, made us both wear bigger gloves. Normally, female fighters wear 8 or 10-ounce gloves. But the promoter wouldn’t allow that. Katie’s trainer tried to insist that we wear smaller gloves, but the promoter said no way. So, just wanted to set the record straight on that.

Stephanie, I can’t imagine what Katie and her family, especially you, have gone through in the last 8 ˝ years. I know you’ve battled insurance companies. I know you yourself have had to selflessly give up a lot of your own dreams to support Katie. I cannot even begin to imagine how your life has changed. All I can say is ‘What a sister!’ and express compassion and sincere hopes that you and your family find peace in spite of the terrible circumstances that you’ve had to endure.

For now, all I can do is support you and Katie in prayer. Knowing that people like me, and others, are praying for you and your family…well, I’m sure that isn’t enough sometimes. That is why I was hoping to make some money in boxing so that at least financially you wouldn’t have to struggle so much. I know it would at least help ease some of the stress and some of the burden your family has gone through. That’s all I can hope for. That’s been my dream for 8 ˝ years…to be able to at least give you and your family some relief in a monetary sense. Even if you had complete financial security, I know that there will always be a struggle of some kind…emotionally, mentally, etc. I’m sure there have been struggles in your spiritual faith as well.

Thank you again for responding. Thank you for breaking this 8 ˝ year silence. I also hope that in talking about it the healing can continue. I hope that as Katie pours her heart into her artwork, she can find some peace and some solace and some kind of continued healing from it all.

With all my love, faith, and friendship,
Anani's - Dateline NBC
Dallam: Setting the Record Straight
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