Lebanon woman wins Mother of the Year

Staff Reports • Updated May 12, 2018 at 9:15 AM

Toni Corbin, of Lebanon, was honored as a 2018 Mother of the Year by the Tennessee Justice Center for her fierce commitment to making sure her family, especially her son with a disability, has the health care they need. 

Corbin is a mother of two, with three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She lives with her son, Wallace, whom she calls “Wally.”

 In 2009, Wally was in a motorcycle accident that left him in a coma and with dangerous brain swelling. In the next few years, against all the doctors’ predictions, Wally came out of the coma and began to build his strength. Wally currently doesn’t let his wheelchair or his frequent seizures stop him from living a full life.

Toni and Wally Corbin are devoted activists for the disability community, championing at every turn the medical cannabis movement. The highlight of their advocacy so far was their presence when Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill to allow CBD oil for medical use for people with seizures. 

As a hepatitis C survivor who also suffers from heart problems and severe arthritis, Toni Corbin has faced more than her fair share of health problems. Managing the health issues gets expensive, so she is on a TennCare program that helps people on Medicare cover their premiums and copays. 

Last summer, though, Toni Corbin was kicked off this program without any warning, even though she was still eligible. Not only did this take a huge chunk out of her Social Security check, but it also caused the costs of her doctors’ appointments and prescriptions to skyrocket. Without her medications, Toni Corbin’s health was rapidly deteriorating. She called TJC, and their attorneys were able to get her back on the program and reimbursed for all the costs she had incurred in the meantime.

In the future, Toni Corbin is more than likely going to need a liver transplant. But that doesn’t keep her from serving as the glue that holds her family together. Whether caring for her aging parents – her father is a Korean War vet, – occasionally keeping great-grandchildren, participating in Boy Scouts with her grandson with autism, serving as a full-time caregiver for Wally or keeping up with family dogs Gimli, Frodo and Chloe, it is clear Toni Corbin has an advanced degree as a mother. 

TJC is a nonprofit public interest law and advocacy firm serving families in Tennessee. It gives priority to policy issues and civil cases in which the most basic necessities of life are at stake and where advocacy can benefit vulnerable Tennesseans statewide. TJC works to empower its clients by holding government accountable for its policies and actions.

TJC was established in 1996 and is at 211 7th Ave N. No. 100 in Nashville.

For additional information about the Tennessee Justice Center and its services, call 615-255-0331.

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