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The Funding Project founder Tammy Simmons never imagined how her family’s medical emergency would transform her life or end up helping so many others.

In 1992, Tammy’s brother Hal and his wife gave birth to premature triplets. One of the three, Jacob had a brain bleed two days after his birth and was eventually diagnosed with cerebral palsy. When Jacob was ten years old, his parents heard about a new and promising treatment that their insurance company refused to cover. Her brother was heartsick with disappointment, and Tammy promised him she’d raise the money herself. Despite knowing nothing about fundraising, she sat down at the computer to do home-grown research. She raised over $12,000, enough to provide Jacob with three rounds of treatment.

How It Started

Unwilling to keep what she’d learned to herself, Tammy started helping other families get the money they needed from funders. She created a funding packet, and that led to a special project involving her family’s bike shop, The Bike Rack, and another breakthrough surrounding her beloved nephew Jacob.

Project Mobility

When Jacob was ten, Hal set out to find an adaptive bike to let him experience the same freedom that his sisters enjoyed. Though adaptive bikes were rare in the early 2000s, Hal found the perfect match. The joy it gave Jacob inspired him to start selling the bikes in his shop to give other kids the same access. But the price tag for the $3,000 bikes was far beyond the budgets of most disabled children’s parents. Tammy created Project Mobility, a charitable arm to guide and coach the parents, then put together a fundraising packet that gave them step-by-step instructions, as well as the most current collection of funding sources.

With this resource, she assisted hundreds of families. Years later, the Abilities Expo invited Tammy to host a one-on-one workshop for their attendees, to sit down with anyone who wanted to learn how to raise funds to get their child any disability equipment, products, or services they needed. And it was from that experience that Tammy’s Funding Guide Series expanded into The Funding Project.

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