Get to Know...Chris Thomas
Sep 24, 2009 04:33AM
● By Wendy Sipple
Photo by Dante Fontana
Chris Thomas is a man with a vision.
He participates in Ironman triathlon competitions on a regular basis. With sponsorships from those events, he gives to charity. Not just one charity, but as many as he can. In fact, he is establishing the Thomas Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization based in El Dorado Hills, created for the purpose of supporting charities for individuals with severe health challenges.
Thomas suffers from Behcet’s Syndrome, a very rare disease and chronic disturbance of the nervous system. As a college student 16 years ago, he started noticing numbness in his feet and legs; it was initially misdiagnosed as Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a similar and also very rare nervous disorder. Being physically fit, Thomas decided that he was just out of shape and started running as a self-remedy. But within three months he was unable to lift his legs and could walk only with the assistance of a walker. Medical professionals told him that he would either recover only partially, or the disease would leave him in this condition for the rest of his life. Beating the odds after surgery and many spinal taps, Thomas recovered fully but still experiences minor symptoms that occasionally flair up.
Thomas shares with us, “We are limited only by our own perception of our strengths, weaknesses and disabilities. Once we understand that, we can fully appreciate and realize that we can achieve anything.” Chris Thomas lives true to that. For more information about the Thomas Hope Foundation, visit thomashopefoundation.org.
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