Sizer School Senior Emma McEvoy of Hubbardston is making her Senior Project personal.
And in so doing, hopes to spread awareness about a rare neuroimmune disease known as Transverse Myelitis at an event called Hoops for Hope on January 13 at Sizer School.
“When I first decided to do my senior project on Transverse Myelitis, my mom was my inspiration for my topic,” said Emma.
Emma’s mother Tammy McEvoy was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis over 10 years ago.Transverse Myelitis is caused by inflammation of the spinal cord, which causes neurological dysfunction. It can result in paralysis our weakness in the arms/legs, sensory symptoms such as numbness/tingling, pain and discomfort and bowel and bladder dysfunction.
“My mom was diagnosed with TM in 2006 and was paralyzed from the T6 [vertebrate] down. She has been fighting her way back ever since,” said Emma. “It’s [been] really hard watching her fighting her battle every day with TM and it feels great to be able to do something to raise awareness and money, to support her and others fighting this disease.”
“My life came to a brutally abrupt and sharp stop when I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis 13 years ago,” said Tammy. “I was paralyzed and told there was no cure, no treatment. I was so scared. I fought my way back from paralysis. Fought through intense pain and frustration. Fought with accepting my limitations and struggled to find peace with how my life had changed. Today, I have made an amazing recovery. Through this journey I have learned that it is possible to do what people and doctors say is impossible. It is important to never give up, to stay hopeful to know that we are capable of doing amazing things.”
On January 13, 2020 Emma will be hosting Hoops for Hope, at Sizer School, 500 Rindge Rd. in Fitchburg at 5 p.m. This event is a basketball charity event. The players are all volunteer, many of which are members of Sizer School’s girls and boys basketball team. Play will include two 20-minute halves with fun challenges during half time. The fundsraised during the event will go to the SRNA (Siegel Rare Neuroimmune Association).
The SRNA is a not-for-profit international organization that advocates for, supports and educates individuals and their family’s diagnosed with TM. The SRNA invests in scientific research, therapy development and training of clinician-scientists.
“We need to continue to raise awareness and funds for much needed research for every single person whose lives have been affected [by TM]... I am so proud of Emma's part in this. It fills my heart with love, pride and gratitude,” said Tammy.
“I am specifically focused on raising awareness and money for the newest human clinical trial for people affected by Transverse Myelitis. QCells are the first FDA approved cell therapy to promote, repair through myelin regeneration in Transverse Myelitis. This is the FIRST human clinical safety study to treat central nervous system disease,” said Emma.
For more information on the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot attend Hoops for Hope donations can be made to The Pauline H. Siegel Eclipse Fund.
In photo 1, from (l-r) Sizer Seniors Claire Petersen of Hubbardston and Emma McEvoy are joined by fellow seniors and Sizer basketball players Sebastian Rodriguez (Captain) of Ashby, Axel Sanchez of Fitchburg, Anna Pettirossi (Girls Varsity Basketball Captain) of Hubbardston and, Noah Colbert of Fitchburg. Both the girls and boys basketball teams have volunteered their time to help make this event possible.
In photo 2, (l-r), fellow Sizer Senior Sebastian Rodriguez, Captain of the Boys Basketball Team, Emma’s sister Ava McEvoy and Emma McEvoy at the MA Walk, Run and Roll in 2018.
In photo 3, (l-r), fellow Sizer Senior Sebastian Rodriguez, Captain of the Boys Basketball Team, Emma’s sister Ava McEvoy and Emma McEvoy at the MA Walk, Run and Roll in 2018.