Twenty years ago, when Debbie Clark was known as "Storm" on TV's "American Gladiators," she was a fearless warrior in spandex. She needed nobody's help.
Earlier this week, AOL News found Clark in a homeless shelter in San Diego. A knee injury had finished her career in sports, and domestic abuse had left her nowhere to turn, living in the street with her 10-year-old son.
In the days since the story came out, several people have stepped forward to help, most notably Sherri Shepherd, co-host of "The View," who has promised to pay six months' rent for the former "Gladiator," along with gas and electric costs.
"Your story touched my heart," Shepherd told AOL News. "I watched 'American Gladiators,' and I remember Storm and I was in tears. Take away three paychecks from most people and see where you are."
Shepherd says her motherly instinct inspired her to offer help and hopes it inspires others -- and that is why she decided against acting anonymously.
"At first, I didn't want her to know, but I know giving leads to giving," Shepherd said. "Your story shows that this can happen to any of us. She had a freak accident. I mean, What if something happened to my voice or my face and I couldn't work?"
Clark, now 46, once had big dreams of being an athlete. As a young woman, she hoped to compete in the Olympics on the U.S. handball team. But she dropped that for TV glory, earning $1,500 a night standing on a platform trying to knock her competition off with padded pugil sticks.
With some of the money she earned, Clark paid for in-vitro fertilization to have a son, Crayton. She tried to make it as a personal trainer and briefly attended culinary school.
She hit rock bottom two and a half years ago and has since been living in Southern California, with nowhere to call home. But the outpouring of love and offers to help has given Clark reason to feel she can turn her life around.
"I don't have a computer," Clark says. "But I got a phone call about the article while I was at the doctor's, and 10 minutes later the staff recognized me from it. There was not a dry eye in the room."
Sean Sheppard, the CEO and president of Embrace, an organization that works with the homeless, says the response has been startling.
"People were clicking on the website link in the story and calling me, hoping to contact her," Sheppard says.
In addition to "The View" co-host, Clark has been contacted by an "American Gladiator" executive and fellow Gladiators "Laser" (Jim Starr), "Malibu" (Deron McBee) and "Dallas" (Shannon Hall).
She has also received an offer from Dr. Dan Kalbac the team doctor for the U.S. Men's National Soccer team, who just happens to specialize in the type of ACL problem from which Clark suffers.
"He's offered to do her surgery for free if we can get her down to Florida," Sheppard said. "If Debbie chooses to take Dr. Kalbac up on his offer, we will absolutely figure out a way to get her to Miami!"
Another woman, who once hired Clark as a personal trainer, donated a computer.
"'Laser's wife, Tonya, asked me what I needed," she said. "I said, 'Well, I will soon have a home and a computer. The only thing I need is some meat and potatoes for my son.'"
Sheppard, who has taken Clark under his wing since meeting her a few weeks ago, says he has been getting inquiries from as far away as Australia from people wanting to know about his charity.
"Honestly, most of the e-mails I'm getting are from people asking for help," he said. "I wish I could help everyone."
Related: Storm From 'American Gladiator' on the Streets in San Diego