A time of “firsts” always seems to bring excitement in our lives. As a mom, I remember how exciting it was to see my sons’ first smiles and steps; hear their first giggles and words. In 2014, local patients and caregivers began meeting monthly, which informally began our support group, to learn from each other and from some amazing speakers. On October 4, 2014, our DFW TM/NMO Support Group hosted the first TM/NMO Walk-Run-N-Roll held in Texas for the benefit of the Transverse Myelitis Association. Despite a few challenges as we planned the event, excitement abounded on the day of our Walk-Run-N-Roll. Our event was held at a beautiful, completely handicapped accessible park designed for children. We raised money (approx. $23,000.00) for this worthy cause and many new relationships and friendships were formed. There is no price tag to be placed on the feelings that come from meeting someone else fighting the same disease you do on a daily basis. To see the comfort of people meeting someone else that truly understands your struggle and to know that you are not alone with this disease is priceless. Bonds of new friendships are forming as well as an army of advocates rising up to benefit the others that will unfortunately follow in our footsteps until a cure is found.
I hope you enjoy the video of our event – 2014 TX Walk-Run-N-Roll. My special thanks to my amazing co-chair, Chris Hill, for the endless tasks he took on, including this great memento of the event, and lending so many hours, support, and determination to see this event come to fruition. Many thanks to all the folks that came out to help on the day of the event, patients, family members, friends, and most of all, our amazing extended family of support from Dr. Ben Greenberg and his staff at UTSW. How encouraging it was to have Dr. Greenberg stand in front of what is called “Miracle Field” at the park and listen to him share news of progress in the areas of better treatments, understanding of these disorders, and hope for our future. I think we all felt like we had experienced a miracle that day!
Hope you are able to go to a support group meeting this year to bond with others, learn, and help educate others about our diseases, and treatments. Exciting things are in store, thanks to the TMA and the magnificent work they do.
If you don’t have a support group near you and would like to see one come to your area, please communicate that with the TMA, and please consider starting one. We hope to see more groups coming together for our common cause.
Wishing you all a Happy & Healthy New Year!
~ Barbara Nichols | Texas Support Group Leader