Dear Tred Barta Supporters,
It has now been 2 ½ years since Tred’s spinal stroke which has left him a T4 paraplegic (arm pits down) and the blood cancer that we discovered 4 weeks after the stroke. The doctors still don’t know what caused the stroke or if the blood cancer has anything to do with it. While we were fighting the cancer in the drastic early stages, he lost all of his handicap rehabilitation benefits and we had to learn it later on our own or with the help of friends. The initial chemo damaged his liver and kidneys so severely that we were basically fighting for his life in August 2009. So, from paralysis, to cancer, to fighting for his life and now being trapped inside for 4 months, he had mentally given up.
Meanwhile, I was putting an addition on the house and had drastically deleted any access into the remodel for a wheelchair bound person. I also now needed to design a wheelchair accessible bedroom and bath and office space for him and redesign to get an elevator into the partially constructed space (I was the architect, contractor and builder, so this was no small thing. Tred’s hobby was the ranch and the horses which now became another job for me, plus keeping the businesses alive and all of this being 2.5 hours from our home and office.
We live so far out in the country that there were no community services, nursing care, or hospice to help me if I brought him home. But you have to address the most damaging cause at the time and I knew I had to spark his will to overcome and the only way to do that was to bring him home and remind him of our wonderful life. After 4 months day and night in hospitals, there wasn’t much I didn’t know about his care, and what I didn’t know I learned. At this point Tred was on IV’s, shots, and could do very little of his own care except to feed himself. His care was intense and he couldn’t even turn himself at night, so I would set the alarm every 3 hours at night to turn him and give him meds. He got better by the hour and by the end of 2009, just 8 months into this we did our first TV show in Guatemala (not close to home, the hard way….. the barta way). With Tred’s amazing attitude and zest for life and my hard work we make an amazing team. However, everything in your life has to be figured out again. Everything.
I am telling you all of this because I want you to understand why we haven’t personally answered your encouraging email or letter. We have received thousands, and every single one I called a vitamin pill, every one encouraged us and gave us a reason to really prove what: “The Hard Way…..The Barta Way” really meant. Along with this has come an increase in our fan base for the TV show and a clarification for us of what our mission is now. Attitude is everything, and we hope to encourage others in their struggles whatever they may be.
It was such a shame that we didn’t have a vehicle for getting the news out, and informing people of his progress and thanking people for their encouraging emails and letters. It became obvious that I needed to get a website put together that we managed. So, I am happy to say that after a lot of effort we now have launched:
Please take a look, it is a work in progress but we hope to make it very entertaining with videos, stories, articles, a photo archive and we are changing the blogs to a “chat with Tred” forum like facebook that Tred will actively be attending. The best way for you to support Tred now is to participate on the site. And of course, keep watching the show which airs in the spring on Thursdays 7pm EST on the new NBC Sports Outdoors (formerly Versus).
We both can’t begin to express our appreciation for your encouragement when it was so desperately needed. Thank you, thank you, thank you and excuse us for not adequately acknowledging your kindness sooner.
Anni and Tred Barta