Happy New Year's Eve everyone!
As 2012 comes to an end and I think back over the past twelve months - a wondereful job which relocated my children and me to a new home, town, and community, I feel so fortunate to have been inspired to help others.
Most of the people that I am close to are people who have experienced tremendous hardships. Whether it be disease, injury, a broken family, financial strain, etc..., I've felt responsible to make a difference in their situation. In doing this, it helped me to see solutions rather than entertain problems. And to me, there is nothing better than seeing others happy, especially when I have somehow contributed to their happiness.
There are many people and situations that have shaped me into the person I am, but it is my sister Tera that has inspired me to make a difference in a mighty big way.
My office at the Spain Rehabilitation Center is directly across from a building that means so much to my family and me. Children's of Alabama is the place where my sister's life was saved and was home to my mom and Tera for nearly three years. From her 9th grade year in High School until her Senior year, Tera battled a rare type of cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma.
I thank God each day that my sister won her battle with cancer and has been in complete remission since 1990.
You would think our family would be spared from anything more, but as we all know, disease does not spare one family over another. In 2010, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease, so of course this is another disease that my family and me would like to be an epic of the past. As you see in the photo below, people like me living with PKD experience sharp pains when tiny cysts develop and burst on the kidney(s). People can live with only one kidney, but unfortunately, this disease has attacked both of mine. My diagnosis was made at a young age, so with lifestyle modifications including healthy eating and moderate exercise, I should live a long and happy life with my family.
I’m not a doctor or researcher, so I can't invent a cure for PKD, Cancer, or other diseases. But I can be an advocate for regenerative medicine and help raise money for research. Yes friends, this is EXACTLY what I plan to do in 2013.
To launch my efforts I made a phone call to my dear friend and ally Senator Marc Keahey. Marc and I teamed up together in 2011 to help TJ Atchison pass an initiative in Alabama known as the TJ Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Research Act. You can read more about the passing of "TJ's Law" here...
Marc knows by now that when I give him a call without emailing first, something is in the works. For thirty minutes, I explained to Marc my plans to fund research that will target and eliminate every disease known to man.
To some this goal may seem unreachable, but not to Marc and I. We have planned and reached out to those who can and will help us. A name you've heard so much of this year is Roman Reed, and he is behind us all the way. With Roman and Marc's support and involvement in this initiative, I know there are no limits to what we can accomplish.
And the best part of this AIMED for a Cure initiative, is that YOU and YOUR loved ones will benefit 100% from these efforts.
So, as we head into 2013, I want you to know there are determined people doing incredible things to make this New Year our best one yet. I promise to update on our progress in a few weeks, but for now, I want to wish all of you a blessed and happy New Year. Take care and much love! ~ Tory
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