The Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation, Inc. (the “Tisdale Foundation”), honors the life and legacy of professional basketball player and smooth jazz bass guitarist, Wayman Tisdale. Together with a host of collaborators, the Tisdale Foundation identifies eligible individuals with unmet prosthetic needs and pays for cutting-edge prosthetic care. Operating out of the Wayman L. Tisdale Specialty Clinic in Wayman Tisdale’s hometown, Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Tisdale Foundation changes lives throughout the United States.
The Tisdale Foundation remains committed to its core mission of providing top-flight prostheses and device maintenance to those in need, but recently expanded its horizons. The newly-launched “Wayman’s Way” initiative directs attention and resources to the promotion of positive lifestyles and preventative health care, with an emphasis on health & wellness, childhood health education, and nutrition awareness.
The Tisdale Foundation understands that segments of the population, particularly, African-Americans, suffer from disproportionate rates of diabetes, heart disease, and other ailments; that lack of information about and access to healthy food and health care services contribute to these ills.
The Tisdale Foundation encourages and supports those who seek to live life to its fullest: disease-free, education-rich, and wellness-infused. It’s about quality of life. That means having fun, flashing a smile, and doing things “Wayman’s Way.”
Wayman’s Way means a laser-like focus on:
Overall Health & Wellness—We promote the absence of illness, injury, and disease related to the six components of health: (1) physical; (2) emotional ; (3) social; (4) environmental; (5) mental; and (6) spiritual.
The location of the Tisdale Foundation in the Wayman L. Tisdale Specialty Clinic facilitates referrals of nearby residents to physicians within walking distance of their homes. The Tisdale Foundation partners with the Tulsa Health Department’s North Regional Health and Wellness Center in promoting nutrition—specifically, the importance and power of selecting and preparing healthier meals—at no cost to our clients. It may be cliché, but it is nonetheless true: “You are what you eat.” In some cases, healthier lifestyles preclude the need for amputations, and thus for prostheses.
- Childhood Health Education—We promote continuous learning and the quest for knowledge about health and wellness among children.
Health awareness must begin early. The Tisdale Foundation partners with nearby elementary schools to promote the consumption of a balanced diet, working with students to plant and harvest fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and other beneficial and ecologically-friendly vegetation. Malleable young minds expand as they understand and appreciate nature while laying the foundation for life-long, healthy lifestyles.
In March 2007, Wayman Tisdale underwent treatment for cancer of the knee (osteosarcoma), which was discovered after he fell down a flight of stairs in his home and broke his leg.
In May of that same year, Tisdale announced he was recovering from a procedure to remove the cyst, and expected to make a full recovery. However, after a series of chemotherapy treatments the cancer later returned.
In August 2008, Tisdale had part of his right leg amputated because of the bone cancer.
On his web site, Tisdale said removing a portion of the leg would be the best way to ensure that the cancer would not return. Shortly after the operation, Wayman was fitted for prosthesis. It was this experience coupled with the knowledge that the process is not always covered by health insurance that led Tisdale and his wife, Regina to begin work on the establishing the Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation.
Tisdale died on the morning of May 15, 2009 at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Foundation was officially established shortly after.