The Birth of TDP
Founded by a patient for patients.
Kelly Freeman was an active businesswoman and mother of four when a routine dental procedure left her mysteriously and completely debilitated. Not one local doctor could offer her help, so she scoured the country looking for answers. She spent seven years mostly in bed, having been a patient in several of the nation’s top hospitals.
THE TURNING POINT
In 2011, a visit with Dr. Randy Thompson in Pensacola changed everything. Until that appointment she’d felt completely alone. She describes the feeling as being “the luckiest patient in the world” for finding the information imparted to her that day. She felt it was a travesty that no doctors in our area could diagnose, let alone treat her. Dr. Thompson spent five hours with her in that first appointment where he said, “nothing you say about your symptoms will surprise me.” He taught Kelly about autonomic problems and what could be done to better manage symptoms. She never dreamt such an opportunity was even possible. On the drive home from that appointment all she could think about was how other people needed this experience and how THERE IS HOPE THROUGH EDUCATION. This birthed TDP and its mission.
HOPE THROUGH EDUCATION
Kelly went on to co-author a book with Dr. Randy Thompson and Dr. David Goldstein the head of autonomic medicine at the NIH while mostly bedridden: “The Dysautonomia Project: Understanding Autonomic Nervous System Disorders for Physicians and Patients.” Her dedication led her to also co-found a grass roots non-profit, The Dysautonomia Project (TDP), in 2014 with family and friends. This mobilized community leaders to serve on the board and partner in the mission. TDP’s work has changed the average time of diagnosis from six years to just several months in Tampa Bay, bringing hope and saving lives. It has also reached around the globe through its book and its on-line presence – from Clearwater to the Czech Republic people have credited TDP for bringing hope through education.
What began as a grass-roots initiative with a handful of committed community leaders in 2014, is today the global leader in dysautonomia education. TDP has a unique, laser-focused mission of dysautonomia education because we believe education is the number one treatment.
Our programs and initiatives are as unique as our mission. They range from our award-winning book (Get a Book) The Dysautonomia Project, which remains the cornerstone of our mission, to the first ever free, online video library (Autonomic Education) connecting the world’s leading specialists to providers and patients anywhere. The Residents Course mini fellowship, presented in partnership with the American Autonomic Society, is the first program of its kind exponentially increasing the number of doctors able to diagnose and treat dysautonomia.
Our team is dedicated to helping healthcare professionals, patients and communities learn about dysautonomia.
Our Board of Directors
TDP is governed by a dedicated and engaged Board of Directors. These exceptional community leaders are committed to furthering TDP’s mission.