By ALEXANDER WILLIS
The nonprofit organization TENNACITY, an organization aimed at helping trauma survivors receive the physical therapy, athletic programs and other medical needs they may otherwise not be able to afford, has partnered with Elite PT & Balance Center in Franklin and Spring Hill for its planned launch in January 2019.
TENNACITY was founded by 25-year-old Thomas Stephenson, who is no stranger to the struggles trauma survivors face. In 2014, Stephenson was severely injured in a fatal car crash in Smyrna, shattering his spinal column, snapping his femur, and completely crushing his feet and ankles. Doctors told Stephenson he would likely never do anything physically strenuous again, and would from that point on walk with a limp.
Through years of dedication, physical therapy, and pushing himself to his absolute limits, Stephenson defied doctor’s expectations, completing the Ironman 70.3 triathlon in 2017, and biking Natchez Trace for 24 hours straight this last October.
It was only after beating the odds, Stephenson realized, that if it weren’t for his financial resources in being able to afford the physical therapy he needed, that he likely would not had such positive outcome. Out of that realization, came TENNACITY.
The organization, Stephenson says, is looking to sponsor 10 to 15 individuals for its first year of operation. Through a selection process, the chosen 15 or so individuals will be provided the amount physical therapy they need that even insured persons might not be provided, which would take place at Elite PT’s centers in Spring Hill and Franklin.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with the team at Elite,” Stephenson said. “We set out to form partnerships with organizations who share our same passion for helping others and doing so through a hands-on approach. With this in mind, Elite was the perfect match for us.”
TENNACITY has also partnered with Chadwick’s Fitness in Franklin, and Personal Best Fitness in Brentwood, which both will supply athletic and performance training to the sponsored individuals.
Founded only this past July, TENNACITY has seen extraordinary interest from hospitals, trauma centers, and other medical disciplines across Middle Tennessee, with Stephenson calling his organization’s progress and growth “phenomenal.”
“The really encouraging thing to us has been everyone sees this as a major need in the community, and one that’s not currently being met,” Stephenson said. “We’re being welcomed with open arms by all of these organizations which has been phenomenal for us, and ultimately, we believe it’s going to be a phenomenal thing for the community and people that need these services.”
Stephenson said he foresees a long and charitable future for TENNACITY.
“In ten years, we hope that we are the face of trauma recovery in Tennessee, and that we are the go-to place for people who have suffered a traumatic event and need to get back on their feet, but just need a little extra push and a little extra help to get there,” Stephenson said. “We hope to be a major factor in rehabilitation in the community here.”
For those interested in the TENNACITY program, or sponsoring an individual to be considered, visit the TENNACITY website by clicking here.