JOHN TEMPLER

            Room 210 at the Bivins Rehab Center was John Templer’s home for sixteen months of his life.  The staff became his family, his friends.  Room 210 was John’s address as he faced his greatest struggles and most successful moments; the people were his support and help throughout his journey

            John’s journey began far from home—in a tax cab in New York City.  During the cab ride to the airport, John noticed a sign reading “Checks Cashed.”   Curious, John asked the driver what it was all about.  The driver explained that he himself used the service because he didn’t have a checking account.  John was intrigued by the concept and took mental note of it.

            Also in that same cab, John began feeling the onset of what would be a life-altering neurological disorder, Guillian Barre.  The sensation began in his feet, and continued taking its toll up his body.  Little did John know that the cab ride was just the start of a long journey.

            Guillian Barre Syndrome is a rare neurological disorder that attacks the mylan on the nerves.  Mylan is the nerve’s lining, and with Guillian Barre, this lining is melted away, leaving the nerves to “short out.”  The disorder begins in the feet and works upward through the body, causing nerve damage.  Eventually, regeneration can take place, but the disorder leaves lasting effects.

            For John, the journey that began with a cab ride in November of 1986 would not come to an exit ramp for nearly two years.  John’s battle initially left him paralyzed.  He was sent to Dallas for four months of intense care, and he eventually returned to Amarillo, where he spent sixteen months in Baptist Hospital’s Bivins Rehab Center.

            Through the natural regeneration process and rehabilitation, John’s body slowly began to function again.  “I had to learn to hold a hair comb, use my thumb for the calculator…everything,” John recalls.

            The process was trying and tedious, but John Templer was tenacious!  Over a year in the hospital could have brought on depression and bitterness, but John chose to beat the odds.  “It’s easy to get sour…but I’m a nonconformist,” he explains.  John could not sit idle; even when others had to turn the pages of the Wall Street Journal for him, he kept his mind active.

            As a matter of fact, John began pursuing the dream that started in that New York City cab.  He had never forgotten the “check cashing” concept.  With his business savvy and plenty of time to plan, John embarked on making the vision a reality.  By June of 1988, John’s business was up and running.  While still a patient, he started his check-cashing business by sending out armored vans to area businesses on paydays.  His business was already a success when he was released from the hospital on July 15, 1988.ly 15, 1988.

            John’s business, “Mr. Payroll,” has grown and flourished since those first days in 1988.  By 1990, John had six stores, and Mr. Payroll franchises took off in ’91.  Today there are 190 stores in 24 states, and John is constantly developing new ideas and ways to keep the business on the cutting edge.

            Physically, John is still improving even today; he is able to travel, drive, write and do so many of the things that his disease had once taken from him.  John realizes that the disorder that once attacked his physical nerves and took away so much also gave him the nerve to fully pursue his dream.  “It motivated me to have this vision…Thank God it happened.”

            UPDATE:  John Templer and is wife, Sue, have moved to Palmer, Texas.  They are still involved with Second Chance Foundation.

Diann.Brown@bsahs.org