Welcome to My Rally Campaign
My name is Tina Miller. I am 33 years old T-3 paraplegic and live in the gorgeous state of Montana. I am attempting to raise funds to purchase a Lasher Sport All Terrain Handcycle.
My goal is high! I have been awarded a prestigious grant from the Kelly Brush Foundation totalling $1750 to help with the cost of the cycle. I need to raise roughly $6250 more. I am actively searching for other grants, as well. The base cost of the cycle is $4995 plus $695 shipping from Anchorage, Alaska where Lasher Sports is located. In addition, there are extra costs for the types of brakes, fork styles and other components that are crucial to my specific needs.
Montana is the most beautiful state in the country and I need to get back out there and explore it again!
Why I'm Raising Funds
I grew up in Great Falls, Montana; bicycling and running all over the trails around the Missouri River and Giant Springs State Park with my family. I loved hiking and enjoying the outdoors. Several years ago I suffered my first Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) attack. NMO is a neurological autoimmune disease that attacks the spinal cord and optic nerves. The first line of treatment when an attack occurs is high dose steroids. I have had 28 rounds of high dose steroids and because of this and other factors, I gained over 200 lbs.
This is me in 2004:
And this is my mother and me at Giant Springs State Park:
How I Got Here
In June of 2013 I moved back to Montana after being away for over a decade at college and then married, teaching music, and involved in my church in Walls, Mississippi. When my marriage ended, I knew that I was depressed, I didn't recognize myself in the mirror and something needed to change. The only person who could turn my life around was ME. After having two major attacks in the summer and fall of 2013 I decided it was time to take control. I started juicing and exercising and gradually lost over 100 lbs. However, I have reached a plateau and need to "up my game."
For multiple reasons I need to be able to get the cardio exercise that will help me continue to lose the weight. Being in a wheelchair is difficult when overweight. The extra pounds make everything more difficult: from transfers, toileting, and showering, to working, driving, and recreation. While the weight loss is my top priority, enjoying the trails and getting outside are a close second. It is difficult for me to participate in anything recreational with my family if I am stuck in my wheelchair, limiting where I am able to go.
I am now an advocate for the Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation (NMO research) and for accessibility in my local community. I have started teaching music again and hope to continue to build my student base as my health improves.
I would like to thank my parents for all of their support in my personal journey towards wellness. I would also like to thank my sister and brother and their families for encouraging and pushing me to better myself. To my "Blue Crew" and my Devic's (NMO) Family, I could not thank you all enough for all you mean to me. Grace, Heather, Kevin and so many others... you have been my rock for years and I don't know where I would be without you.
Join My Team and Spread the Word!
Thank you for your support! No donation is too small. Please share my Rally with your friends and family so I can reach my goal. In order to use my grant I need to purchase my hand cycle by March 31, 2017.
Conny and Mike Fox