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.
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.
|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.
|Dr. Candace Floyd will serve as Chair of the |
Scientific Advisory Committee for the TJ Atchison Foundation
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.|
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 email@example.com. 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