I became paralyzed from the waist down on December 30, 1996. My life ended as I knew it on that day, and a new life began. Through my own therapies, I regained the ability to walk, with aids, at the end of one year. 17 years later, I still suffer with some of the deficits associated with any spinal cord injury (transverse myelitis is considered a non-traumatic spinal cord injury). Through the early days of internet in 1997, I connected with Jim Lubin and Sandy Siegel, and volunteered my time and energy to the newly-formed nonprofit organization known as the Transverse Myelitis Association.
I am still donating my time and energy to the TMA, and we celebrate our 20th anniversary, which is a huge accomplishment for a small grassroot nonprofit. We have grown from 187 members in the U.S. in 1997 to over 10,500 members in 80 countries worldwide. I am so proud of my organization, and I hope that you will help me to help TMA continue to grow.
Transverse Myelitis Association wrote -
Message from TMA President, Sandy Siegel
My wife, Pauline, will recognize a very difficult anniversary in July 2014; she will have had her inflammatory attack from transverse myelitis 20 years ago. The year 2014 also represents the 20th anniversary of The Transverse Myelitis Association. Pauline’s and the TMA’s anniversaries are inextricably bound. I wrote about these very personal anniversaries in my editor’s column in this past winter’s newsletter. The goals and the programs of our Association have been accelerated and intensified over the past couple of years through the efforts of a growing and focused professional staff, a more engaged board and through the energies offered by a highly motivated and dedicated volunteer community. From research, to the development of new specialists and new centers of excellence, to improved medical education and clinical care, to community education programs, to support networks to quality of life camps, the work of the TMA continues to expand, reaching larger and larger numbers of our membership both nationally and globally.
Our 20-year anniversary is focused on expanding our resources by expanding the participation of our members. The numbers of our membership are just too small for anyone to ignore this effort. Everyone needs to get involved. Your willingness to engage your friends and families in this campaign will make all of the difference for us and for you. These are the people who most intimately understand how having ADEM, TM or NMO has impacted your life and your family’s lives. It is time for us to change the world and to heal the world for those people and their loved ones who suffer with these rare and devastating neuro-immune disorders.
Please invest in research and the future of the TMA by joining the campaign.
- Sandy Siegel, PhD
For more about the TMA – www.myelitis.org