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.

Monday, November 19, 2012

From a Ribbon-Cutting to a Foundation, TJ Atchison is Moving Mountains for Paralysis Cure!

November 13, 2012 was a day that TJ Atchison will treasure forever as over 100 people gathered at UAB's North Pavilion Atrium for the Open House and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony of the TJ Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Research Program.  (*All image copyright Fred Powell)
The event began with a warm welcome and introductions by Dr. Amie McLain, Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Pre-recorded greetings were shown from UAB's Interim President Dr. Richard Marchase and from Dr. Robert Kimberly, Associate Vice President for Medicine and Biomedical Research (2012 – present) and the Senior Associate Dean for Research (2006-present) in the UAB School of Medicine. 
Dr. Candace Floyd, Director of the TJ Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Research Program, provided a PowerPoint which explained the Vision, Mission, and Goals for TJ's Program.

A powerful message of advocacy and perseverance, Roman Reed, President and CEO of the Roman Reed Foundation, shared his passion and motivations for raising awareness and funding for spinal cord injury research.

TJ, teary eyed and overwhelmed with gratitude for the support and guidance he has received over the last two years, took the microphone and thanked the crowd for attending this special event.

Closing remarks were given by Legislative Sponsor, Senator Marc Keahey, who paused before taking his seat to give a brotherly hug to TJ and Roman.  

And then came the special moment of the day, the ribbon-cutting and official launch of the TJ Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Research Program.

Bottom from Left: Bonnie Blackwell, Roman Reed, TJ Atchison
Top from Left: Tory Minus, Dr. Candace Floyd, Sen. Marc Keahey, Dr. Amie McLain

But just an hour prior to this wonderful celebration, another mountain was moved as TJ called the first Steering Committee meeting to order for his foundation, TJ Atchison Foundation

From Left: Lara Keahey, Vice Chair; Tory Minus, Secretary;
Bonnie Blackwell, Member At Large; Roman Reed, Treasurer; and TJ Atchison, Chair.
We have many goals for the TJ Atchison Foundation including an expanded vision for spinal cord injury research, incorporating grant opportunities for new researchers, and other initiatives to support our cause of raising awareness and funding for spinal cord injury research.

Dr. Candace Floyd will serve as Chair of the
Scientific Advisory Committee for the TJ Atchison Foundation
With our Steering Committee established and recruitment underway for the Board of Directors, TJ's Foundation is moving at lightning speed to make a huge difference for spinal cord injury research in 2013! We’ve begun to look into holding special events for fundraising in the Birmingham area and abroad and hope to announce plans soon.

Close to TJ’s heart, his hometown of Chatom, AL is still an important part of his life. Currently we’re working to plan a fundraiser in south Alabama, so be on the lookout for more information.

TJ putting the final signature on the Articles of Incorporation for his Foundation.
Our continued presence on social media is of the utmost importance. We want to use these resources as a way to reach a large audience including those in need of support for their novel research ideas. Check out the TJ Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Research Program's Facebook Page for updates of the TJ Atchison Core Laboratory and special upcoming events at UAB.

A growing Twitter Account allows us to collaborate with other organizations such as the Roman Reed Foundation specializing in spinal cord injury research advocacy and spreading our message even further!

We’re busy planning and hope to use questions, facts and updates to engage everyone. As always, feel free to send along comments and suggestions to We love your input and want to include everyone in TJ's Program at UAB and in his newly launched Foundation! Take care and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. ~ Much love, Tory

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