“The idea for the Neuropathy Alliance of Texas began in 2009 when two women met and shared their experiences of caring for a family member with CIDP (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy). After realizing how comforting it was to talk with someone who had been through similar experiences, and how much information they wished they had early in their journey, the two decided to start an organization for people in the Austin area affected by neuropathy. The goals were to share information and provide support for patients and family members in the journey with neuropathy. The two found others interested in achieving the same goals and who wanted and needed those goals to be met.
In 2010 they met with Ann Garrett, who had led a group in the Austin area several years earlier, and enlisted her help. They contacted the national Neuropathy Association, which distributed postcards to area members and the Austin American Statesman who published an article.>
The first group met in 2010 with 30 people. The first neuropathy awareness fundraiser in May 2010 was a success that educated over 300 people and raised both awareness and money.
By Oct 2011, over 150 people in the greater Austin metropolitan and Sun City/Georgetown areas were being served. With the help of State Representative Donna Howard, the organization successfully lobbied the 2011 Texas House of Representatives to proclaim the third week in May as Neuropathy Awareness Week.
In 2013 a third support group was added in Austin and a library for each group. Our clients increased to over 330 people and we provided 30 separate meetings in 4 locations.
In 2014 meeting attendance rose 25% to almost 500 people, we added a patient self-assessment program, had new Board members join us and we changed our name from Hands Feet & Heart to the Neuropathy Alliance of Texas.
In 2015 we completed a business development plan, added new Board members and taking major steps to become financially self-sustaining.
As we move toward the future, much work needs to be done to increase the support for those in Central Texas and also expand to other major cities within Texas. With continued financial and volunteer support, people will come together to help one another in their journey with neuropathy, to share their experiences and provide hope and encouragement.”