Family Collage

Family Collage
Lots of Love in this Bunch!
*The compositions herein are not to be copied, reproduced, printed, published, posted, displayed, incorporated, stored in or scanned into a retrieval system or database, transmitted, broadcast, bartered or sold, in whole or in part without the prior express written permissions of the sole author Tory Williams. Unauthorized duplication is strictly prohibited and is an infringement of National and International Copyright Laws.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Human Candidate: TJ's Account of Hope and Courage

A series of posts re: The Human Candidate...

It's so hard to know if this is the right way to do this, but holding back any longer will only make T.J. and I go stir crazy! I am going to spare you the rabbit chase and pretend as if I am speaking to one of my closest friends. In other words, you are getting raw, unfiltered honesty, which in my opinion is the best way to deliver an important announcement. Okay, everyone...this is the secret project I've been working on since November 2010!

Almost six months ago, my mom called shortly before 8 o'clock on a Saturday morning to tell me that a close family friend named Timothy (or T.J. as most refer to him) was involved in a terrible automobile accident. Mom could barely get the words out. T.J. had suffered a severe injury to his spinal cord and was being air-ambulanced to a regional medical center some 60 miles away.

I had known and loved T.J.'s family for a very long time, which made the news of his accident extremely difficult to process in my mind. His mother Anita was one of my best friends and had raised my four children along with three nephews at her daycare in Chatom. Indeed, this family was special - some of the sweetest and most generous folks in the world. I could only imagine how terrified Anita felt. She and T.J. were extremely close; she would be devastated if he took a turn for the worse.

After being airlifted to a regional medical facility in south Alabama, twenty-one-year-old T.J. underwent extensive surgery for injuries suffered to his spinal cord. Despite the meticulous care he was given, he never regained movement or sensation below his chest. But typical T.J., he never gave up hope that one day he would walk again. Upon his request, his parents made contact with the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, and within twenty-four hours he was transferred to the renowned treatment and rehabilitation facility.

Based on many factors surrounding T.J.’s condition, doctors determined he was the perfect candidate for a clinical trial using GRNOPC1, a drug containing embryonic stem cells and designed to regenerate damaged spinal cord tissue. Therefore, on October 8, 2010, T.J. agreed to participate in a clinical trial procedure (the first of its kind) in which doctors injected the injured area of his spinal cord with over two-million embryonic stem cells.

Please take a moment to watch this video from ABC:

Geron Corp. Begins First Embryonic Stem Cell Treatment on Patient for Spinal Cord Injuries - ABC News

After months of researching, interviewing, and planning the best way to announce this super-secret project, T.J. and I have determined it is best to begin this journey slowly, as we are hopeful some of you out there reading this will support our efforts to bringing The Human Candidate to life. Anyone interested in learning more about this project may contact me through email or leave a comment below. I assure you, you will receive a response!!!

In closing, I would like to encourage all of you to support T.J. by leaving a few words of encouragement in the comment section below. On April 8th, 2011, T.J. will draw 10 special winners from those who have commented - winners will receive an autographed poster and T'shirt w/ T.J.'s logo on the front pocket. Stay tuned to Head in the Clouds as more details of this drawing will be posted in the following days.

Most importantly, your prayers for T.J. for a full recovery is abundantly appreciated. Have a great Friday, everyone! Love, Tory

Friday, March 4, 2011

Decide what to be and go be it!

Yesterday after work I made a dashing trip to Mobile in order to purchase decorations and presents for the kiddo's b'day party this weekend. With Mardi Gras festivities taking place in downtown Mobile, I feared most party supply stores would be overflowing with enthusiastic parade-goers and such. To much surprise, however, I was able to zig-zag through traffic, find a great parking spot at Party City, and mark everything off my list in less than thirty-minutes.

So with extra time on my hands, I phoned the BFF's that live in Mobile, Dana and Tarah, and asked if they could join me for a few hours of shopping. Unfortunately, Dana was committed to parental-duties for the night, but Tarah was available to meet. Because it had been over a month since seeing her last, I was thrilled she had not made plans for the evening.

After traumatizing the crowd with our squealing embrace, Tarah and I decided to grab a bite to eat at Chick-fil-A before hittin' the shops. As I scanned the menu (They have the best fries in the world, right?), Tarah reached inside her purse and pulled out an Avett Brothers CD. "This is for you," she said with a sheepish grin on her face. "The best songs are #3 and #5!" This was such a nice surprise as music has always been one of my favorite gifts/happies.

Tarah knows me well! I listened to the CD on my drive home to Millry and quickly fell in love with #3 and #5. I didn't expect the lyrics to stir emotions the way they did, but just as the written word, I was able to step out of the chaos of daily life and reconnect with that which is simple and tranquil. Though the video below doesn't reflect my interpretation of the lyrics, I wanted to share #3 from the CD: Head full of doubt/Road full of promise. My favorite line - Decide what to be and go be it! Have a great weekend, everyone! Love, Tory