I was a healthy 2-year-old and had just celebrated my birthday when my parents noticed my left foot slightly turned in when I walked. I had recently received routine immunizations and had a slight cold. I then developed a stomach flu that did not respond to doctor’s care and was hospitalized for three weeks. These occurrences have been suspected of causing TM. During that hospitalization, I became weak and was in severe pain. I never walked normally again. I left the hospital with a diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The first specialist I saw advised that I would be in pain and, I needed to get used to it. Not satisfied with that advice, I started seeing specialists at Children’s Memorial Hospital. During the summer of 1980, I received a tentative diagnoses of leukemia, degenerative muscle disease, and a brain abnormality. It was several months until I received the TM diagnosis and was told it was a one-time occurrence. I soon found out I actually had Recurrent Transverse Myelitis. MRI’s were not available yet and an orthopedic specialist diagnosed TM on the basis of damage to the spinal cord. I often had many mini episodes where I became weak, and oral steroids restored function many times. When I was 10, I had an episode that did not respond to oral steroids and was paralyzed from the neck down. That began my introduction to IV steroids. Christmas day I was able to wiggle my toes and limited function returned. I also learned I had Lupus. After a long recovery, I was able to walk again and tried to resume a normal life. I got my driver’s license at 16. I graduated from an all-girls high school shortly after having my first spinal fusion, and that summer drove to Florida with my friends. I was still having physical therapy at Children’s Memorial when I met a young mother whose daughter had TM. It was the first time I met another person with TM and it was my introduction to the TMA. I am forever grateful for the hope and support I received over the years from the TMA. The TMA made me into the strong woman I became in spite of my physical limitations. Complications continually occurred thru my 20’s and worsened in my 30’s. I attended every Symposium and made lifelong friends. I was planning on attending the September 2013 Symposium. By August of 2013 I could no long transfer in or out of my wheel chair but my brother, Russ, came every day to help with my transfers. He was also with me before my last ambulance ride. I told him I loved him and we didn’t know that we hugged for the last time. I still fought but the TM side effects caused a stroke and blood clots that were too much for me to overcome. I lost the battle on September 5, 2013. Please help support the TMA so that other families will not need to experience the loss my family has endured.