Former Division I athlete John Thomas Hall has formed his charitable organization, the Team Walk On Foundation, to realize his dream of curing paralysis.
At the age of 16, a sprinter and prodigy in the pole vault, John suffered a nearly fatal accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors told John he would never walk again, let alone fulfill his life’s dream of running track for the University of Louisville. His determined spirit, however, had other plans. Over the next months and years, John worked with doctors, therapists and family and ultimately walked out of the hospital and walked on to a spot on Louisville’s Track and Field team. He went on to compete and build an impressive record as one of the team’s top pole vaulters.
His experience after the accident and his struggles and triumphs throughout his recovery and college career galvanized John’s spirit and drive to give back. The generosity and encouragement he received while recovering led John to make a commitment to aid in the cause of curing paralysis.
The goal of the Team Walk On Foundation is not only to aid those with paralysis, but also to build the world’s greatest facility for spinal cord research at the university that helped him realize his life’s goals. It is John’s vision to have everyone who suffers a spinal cord injury to come to the University of Louisville Hospital for treatment and walk out under his or her own power.
In 2009, John was diagnosed with A.L.L. Lymphoma, a non-Hodgkins form of the disease. Armed with his conquering spirit and a team of doctors from the Simon Center at Indiana University in Indianapolis, John was declared cancer-free after a five-month treatment regimen. After a relapse and undergoing a successful Allogeneic Stem Cell transplant with a near perfect donor match in September 2010, his current team of doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles are announcing that John has beaten the disease entirely. John continues to rehabilitate and make yet another full recovery so that he can be a voice for Team Walk On and for the spinal cord injury and paralysis community he has dedicated his life to serve.