Family Collage

Family Collage
Lots of Love in this Bunch!
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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The beginning of "TJ's Law!"

Very similar to what Roman Reed did in 1998 with the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of California, the brave TJ Atchison hopes to accomplish this and more in the great state of Alabama.

Yesterday, before a crowd of fifty close family members and friends, Senator Marc Keahey announced his plans to introduce the TJ Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Research Act in Alabama. This legislation would use funds generated from traffic violations such as reckless driving and DUI to support spinal cord injury research in our state.

Shortly after explaining the framework behind "TJ's Law," Senator Keahey passed the microphone to the young man who inspired him to take such a political stance on spinal cord injury research.

With a sweet smile across his face, and a determined tone in his voice, TJ Atchison read from a crinkled piece of computer paper in his lap:

"Good afternoon! I am TJ Atchison, the world’s first participant in our nation’s first ever federally approved clinical trial using human embryonic stem cell therapy and co-author of The Human Candidate. I am paralyzed from a car accident and fighting for a paralysis cure.

In firmly believing in the love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating and embracing human life, I also believe in the justification for sustaining a quality of life for myself, the 1.8 million Americans living with spinal cord injury paralysis, 5.6 million Americans suffering from some form of paralysis and all people living paralyzed. It is my desire to convey a message of hope and peace and provide answers for why I decided to participate in the highly controversial clinical trial that began on October 8, 2010.

So now I ask for your help in making the dreams of a paralysis cure a reality by supporting the TJ Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Research Act Authored by our great Senator Marc Keahey!

Our Law will impose a small $1 added sur-charge on all moving traffic violations, $5 for aggravated moving violations, and $10 for DUI - no taxes, or State general fund withdrawals – to fund the research for paralysis cure while creating jobs and giving hope to the paralyzed – all, right here within our great home State of Alabama.

Your support will strongly impact whether or not I spend the rest of my life confined to a wheelchair or accomplish my dream of walking again. We must fund the research for spinal cord injury cure.


After a brotherly handshake, TJ passed the mic to his friend and mentor, Roman Reed.
Instantly, the advocate spirit came shining through, as Roman educated the crowd on the importance for finding a paralysis cure.

"The very first mention of paralysis was written inside the walls of an Egyptian tomb. It read, 'deny the paralyzed soldier water, for there is nothing that can be done.' For too long, that was the truth, but not now. Not anymore! There is MUCH that can be done, that WILL be done, and SHOULD be done."

Roman then shared a quote from one of his boyhood heroes, Jackie Robinson, "A life is not worth living, EXCEPT for the impact it has on others."

In closing of TJ's press conference, Roman referenced to a letter written by the late Christopher Reeve. The words from this letter sent chills across my arms and brought tears to nearly everyone in the crowd.

Roman read with such proudness and strength the words of his hero and friend. "Christopher Reeve wrote to me shortly after my football accident, saying 'One day Roman and I shall stand up from our wheelchairs and walk away from for forever.'  Now that did not come in time for our Superman, but with your help (defining the audience), the cure will happen for me, TJ, the 1.8 million Americans suffering from spinal cord injury paralysis, and the 5.6 million Americans suffering from some sort of paralysis."

As the afternoon came to an end, it was in total agreement from the audience that this is where we go from here - the beginning of the future for research and healing!

I'd like to end by saying that it was an incredible honor and privilege to take part in yesterday's events. I am so proud of Senator Keahey - our knight in shining armor, the brave TJ, and the incredible Roman Reed for making this day happen. The brave and righteous actions taken yesterday will bring about our paralysis cure for today and tomorrow. Take care everyone, and have a great rest of the week! Much love, ~ Tory

Monday, January 30, 2012

On Schedule!

This Monday may seem like a typical start to the week for most, but for TJ Atchison, it's a day that he will remember always. The twenty-two year old nursing student is following his normal Monday schedule - attending classes, visiting patients, socializing with friends, but he's also squeezing in a press conference to share BIG news with all of you. 

As I left for work this morning, a close friend called and asked if TJ's press conference was on schedule for today. A few minutes later, text messages started pouring in and my email inbox filled with the same question. So, I thought it would be nice to let all of you know that TJ's press conference is on schedule for 1 pm today at USA's Moulton Tower. He's not a bit nervous, just eager to share the exciting news with everyone. 

In closing, I'd like to ask that you keep TJ in your thoughts and prayers today. Because of this brave young man, huge advances in spinal cord injury research are on the horizon! Best wishes, everyone! ~ Tory

Thursday, January 26, 2012

TJ's Press Conference!

Okay, friends! I've been given the go ahead to share details about TJ's press conference.

Senator Keahey confirmed this morning that he, TJ, and Roman Reed will hold a press conference at 1 pm, Monday, January 30th, in front of the University of South Alabama's beautiful Moulton Tower.

The purpose for TJ holding this press conference will be revealed Monday, so check back then to see what he, Senator Keahey, and Roman have in store for the great state of Alabama, and for the Nation. 

Until then, I hope you all have a safe, meaningful, productive, and happy weekend!  Much love, Tory

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A big announcment on the way to Alabama!

Remember when TJ Atchison, Roman Reed, and Senator Keahey got together in November? Well, a lot has taken place since that evening in Chatom, Alabama.
Third from left, Senator Keahey shares with the group his desire
to make spinal cord injury research a priority in Alabama.  
As I type this blogpost tonight, these incredible men are making final preparations for a press conference that will be held before January's end. TJ plans to invite local and national media outlets to join him, Roman and Senator Keahey (D-AL) as they reveal exciting news about spinal cord injury research in Alabama. 

For those of you who know TJ, Roman, and Senator Keahey, you understand the meaning behind my words, A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. Indeed these gentlemen pour their hearts and souls into everything they do, so it will definitely be an event you will want to follow closely. 

Please understand that I do not want to disclose any more information about this announcement, because TJ has waited months to share this exciting news with you; it is not my place to say or do anything to jeopardize this moment for him, I simply want to make people aware that something BIG is in the works for this young man. It is sure to be an exciting time for all spinal cord injury patients, the State of Alabama , and for the Nation!
Until then, TJ has asked that I extend his sincere appreciation for all of the support and prayers that have been lifted up to him and his family.  He feels blessed beyond measure to have each of you in his life, and so do I!  Good night, everyone. Much love, ~ Tory