Meet The Co-Captains

TeamUP Co-Captain

Todd Hart

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LIVES IN Copley, Ohio.
CURRENTLY ENJOYING RETIREMENT from a career with Sherwin-Williams
DEVELOPED DYSTONIA AS A RESULT OF Cancer-removal surgeries in Abdomen-area, which included severing of the femoral nerve and relocation of the sartorius muscle.
CURRENTLY WEARS the Allard ToeOFF™ with SoftKIT™ interface
ONE OF MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS is raising my daughter together with my wife.
FAVORITE QUOTE IS “If one sees their glass as half empty, pour it into a smaller glass and quit griping!”
FAVORITE HOBBIES ARE Multi-sport events, hiking, traveling and enjoying family events.
FUN FACT: I have a twin brother and by the end of 2019 I will have visited all 50 states!

My story began in 2009 with the diagnosis of stage three-melanoma cancer. After numerous surgeries that required removal of the cancerous area; the removal of the right pelvic lymph nodes; the severing of my right femoral nerve; and the relocation of my right side sartorius muscle; I then moved on to chemotherapy. Rehab began in the early part of 2010, to start “training” my right leg to walk straight again. Over the course of a year I eventually progressed to being able to run again. Approximately nine months from that point, my right foot began a painful process of contorting and contracting upon itself. It eventually became useless, what many would call a “club foot.” After six months of seeing numerous “specialists,” I finally received a correct diagnosis – Dystonia.
Dystonia is a neurological muscle movement disorder where essentially your brain is signaling the affected nerves to fire the muscles at an accelerated rate, in the opposite direction of normal. The end result is permanent and painful extreme muscle contraction. To “relax” the muscles, and relieve some of the discomfort, every 13 weeks I now have to take a series of three Botox shots totaling over 300 units covering three injection sites into my right leg. The Botox travels to the end of down the nerves and eliminates the nerves firing the foot muscles. With the initiation of this procedure I relearned to walk straight again but now was unable to run without the use of an orthotic. After filling a closet with numerous, useless, prescribed braces during 2012, my own search to find a comfortable, functional AFO lead me to Beth Deloria and Allard USA. The Allard ToeOFF® was spot on. It provided comfort, control and confidence – and I cannot begin to say how much this meant to my progress, and future quality of life.

Since my Dystonia diagnosis, I have cycled across the USA three times, and in numerous countries around the globe. And, although my walking and running now consists of being able to push off using only one foot, I still compete in numerous multisport events each year – I’m just not as fast. But being fast is no longer important. My priorities now consist of enjoying the abilities I still have, while reaching out and encouraging others in our “community” with methods and means to remain active. As many of you reading this know, it’s common for the physical disabilities to take a back seat to the mental challenges faced due to those disabilities. That’s why having the support of others who have been through this process is crucial. I am now very proud to lend my story and my voice in hopes of helping others create their own path to Get Back UP. Thanks Allard.

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