Let's Get Tommy Strong!
September 5, 2014
Today marks one year since Tommy's accident. No occasion for celebration but today we will try and focus on how far he has come. Thinking about how we didn't know if he would even survive or ever walk again. Thinking about how proud I am of what he has done and how in awe I am of his bravery. Thinking about how proud I also am of Johnny, Charlie and Rachel, because this happened to them too and they have been amazing to Tommy. Thinking about how our families, friends, neighbors, schools came out to support us. Thinking about strangers (now friends) that visitied Tommy to show him that he was going to be ok. Thinking about the amazing people at Dartmouth-Hitchcock that took such good care of him in those awful days. Thinking about the heroes from Laconia Fire Department, and DHART and Alex at the marina who stabilized him and got him to DHMC so quickly. Today is a busy day for all of us, school(he's even only using one crutch today!), work, football practice and time spent with friends - and that is all good and I will never, ever take the little stuff for granted. And I will never forget what you all did(and still do) for us.
-Julie and John
Meet the honorary coach of the 6th grade select team NA Knights!
A Leg Forever Charity Golf Tournament - September 22, 2014...SAVE THE DATE!
The Norden Family is proud to announce a new charity recently formed by Mom Liz Brown Norden called "A LEG FOREVER".
Pictured together below at NEXT STEP Bionic's & Prosthetics and standing BOSTON STRONG 2GETHER are Tommy with JP and Paul Norden.
Tommy on the left with a big thumbs up while tubing with big brother Johnny!!
Tommy swimming strong to the cheers of his entire 5th grade male counterparts at the annual 5th grade end-of-year celebration at Brooks School!
Working hard and making incredible progress - pictured below, Tommy gets himself on the 'regular' school bus!
Tommy continues to impress as he works hard in physical therapy sessions and has begun swimming as well. He had a brief visit at the DHMC in February to have the last of the fixators removed and then was at the Spaulding Rehab for some intensive therapy. He is now back at home and back at school. I witnessed him flying down the hallway at Sargent myself!
Photo at right: the 5th graders at Sargent hosted their "Mama Mia Pasta Ria" on March 12 where guests were treated to a warm welcome by Tommy, sharply dressed and smiling!
January 2014 - Happy New Year!
Tommy is making remarkable progress on all fronts. He is healing well and is doing an outstanding job in physical therapy - he can now get himself into and out of his wheelchair and is getting used to the new ways in which to do 'normal' things for himself, like take a shower! He has settled in at home and his parents, brothers and sister are all so very glad to have him there! He has gotten back into the school groove as well and his friends and teachers are also so very glad to have him there! The Sargent School is very well equipped with the things that will make it easier for Tom (like easy access into the school and between floors via a ramp) and the teachers, administration and school nurse are all totally awesome and totally supportive.
Photo at right: Tommy and some other former Spaulding patients were invited to a Bruins game where they sat in a luxury box for the game! Post game highlights included meeting David Krejci! So exciting for Tommy and his new friends!
Tommy Strong Update: A Note from Tommy's Parents, John and Julie Cox
On September 5th, our lives changed forever due to Tommy’s accident. When our world turned upside down, many of you were there to help pick up the pieces. Family, friends, neighbors, classmates, teachers, coaches, colleagues, complete strangers... so many have done so much to support our family.
We can never properly express our gratitude but please know that all you have done has been truly humbling and appreciated. Monetary contributions, fundraisers, meals, childcare, driving our children to activities, lawn mowing, house maintenance, renovations, visits to the hospital, gifts, cards, phone calls, text messages, prayers - they have all meant the world to us.
So, simply put, thank you.
- John and Julie Cox
Feaster Five - November 28
The Feaster Five is an annual Thanksgiving Day road race that takes place in nearby Andover, Mass. This year, Jen Hoffman (a Tommy Strong volunteer and very good friend of the Cox family) organized a team of runners (term loosely used) to participate in the event together. Below is a photo of some of the team members. They sure were Tommy Strong on that cold and wet Thanksgiving morning!
Steven's Estate Fundraiser - October 26
The Steven's Estate event on October 26 was a huge success. Thanks to a group of dedicated ladies, donators of raffle and auction items, Steven's Estate facility, live music, DJ and the list goes on and on, we really did it! Volunteers spent so many hours planning the auction and raffles, creating and updating the website, selling tickets to the event, decorating the day before the event and the list goes on and on and on. We are all fortunate to have such a strong and generous community!
The event itself raised $22k and in all, we've raised $41k. With a few other donations promised, we may come close to $50k. What is so amazing about this is that its only been about five weeks since we we brought in the first donations.
Other efforts that should get some serious recognition include the meal planning (booked out for months!), the volunteers handling construction on the Cox home (especially George Farr), Shawn Tuttle who has managed the effort to sell 1200 shirts, Minolta/Konica (John's work) who has supplied printing of tickets, banners, and materials for the event, the people that donated to have the house cleaned so that the family wouldn't have to worry about this, the fall yard clean up, the town departments (police, fire, town offices, library, youth center) who all collected donations, the Sargent School, the Cox and Keenan family who have been there every step of the way to arrange for care for the kids, the people helping to drive the Cox kids to sports and the list just keeps going.
Many have reached out with ideas on how to raise additional money. Ideas like "Trees for Tommy", wreaths sales, a golf or bowling tournament, and a few other ideas. If there are efforts that people want to take on and lead, feel free, we will happily get the word out and add donations raised to the fund. Please keep in mind that since Tommy Strong, Inc is a non-profit for an individual (vs. a cause like cancer), we are not qualified to be part of a 501c3, which would have allowed for a tax right off for donators. Email us for details.
The day Tommy’s life changed…
On September 5, while enjoying a beautiful day boating with his three siblings and their dad, Tommy was severely injured in a tragic accident. He remains with us today by the grace of God, the fast actions of his remarkable dad and big brother Johnny, and the amazing first-responders and world-class doctors at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. But his road to recovery will be long and difficult. This smart, funny, easy-going, fun-loving and athletic 10-year-old has started on the path to recovery with several major surgeries, and the loss of his leg. He has many more surgeries ahead of him. Although he is surrounded by the loving support of family and friends, he needs more help than what they can do alone. Please spread the word, and donate, if you can.
The North Andover community, and Cox family and friends, are pulling together to help support Tommy and his family. Learn more about how you can help!
Tommy with his two biggest supporters, Colin and Braiden.