In July 2016, Clay Garner was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, a rare neurological disorder that left him numb from the waist down. He could barely walk. Over the next 6 months he transitioned from a cane to a walker to a wheelchair.
As be began learning about his condition, he discovered that about 1/3rd of TM patients would likely regain their ability to walk, at least with a cane; 1/3rd would walk again with the aid of a walker; and, 1/3rd would probably live the rest of their lives in a wheelchair.
Not knowing what 1/3rd he would fit into – or any realistic timeframe to shoot for – he made a choice. He would dedicate himself to living an abundant and enriching life, regardless of his TM . . . and he would carry this message to everyone he could reach, gathering them all into a deeply caring community. His disability would not define his life – it would transform it.
From this mission evolved www.beat-tm.com . This website then sparked the establishment of the Beat Transverse Myelitis Foundation.
Our Mission is first and foremost to help patients of Transverse Myelitis and related conditions* to stop from falling into the black hole of despair but instead to live enriched and abundant lives, particularly by providing funding for creative, exciting adaptive adventures that many could not afford otherwise.
Secondly, we must help to shorten the time it takes to diagnose TM and others related diseases. Far too many of our fellow patients go through months and years before being accurately diagnosed, delaying what treatments are available. Our plan is to reach out to neurologists and primary doctors in secondary and tertiary markets to deliver much needed information.
Finally, we will aid the cause of medical research, if not through direct funding then by relaying our community to sign up for the Transverse Myelitis Association’s Patient Registry. We will volunteer our personal histories so that researchers working on answers for our maladies will always have the base of patients with which to work.
The money we raise will come from profits on the sale of products and services – all of which will be deemed fun, colorful, and utilitarian – before ever going into our eCommerce store. Secondly, we will use other more traditional means to gain donations for our Mission.