The Brain Injury Law Center is proud to announce that we are in the process of establishing a TBI Network to serve as a place of support and information for those affected by traumatic brain injuries. We know from experience that the TBI community is a caring and devoted one, and we hope everyone can benefit from this resource once it is launched.
Check back soon.
Teach Believe Inspire Award
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The Brain Injury Law Center recognizes Ben Utecht as November’s Teach Believe Inspire winner. Ben pursued a successful career as a professional football player for the Indianapolis Colts and in 2007, won the Super Bowl. Two years later, he retired from the NFL and became an advocate for brain health. He is using his firsthand experience to discuss the dangers of a sport that he loved to play. He is an ambassador for the American Academy of Neurology and is currently writing a memoir set to be released in 2016.
This month’s Teach Believe Inspire Award winner Kimberly Archie founded the National Cheer Safety Foundation to help reduce injuries for cheerleaders like her daughter, who was injured in a cheerleading accident in 2003. Due to her comprehensive research into the subject, Kimberly has become a leading expert in the field and has been called as an expert witness in cases involving cheerleading injuries nationwide. Her work has helped make the sport of cheerleading safer for student athletes.
The Brain Injury Law Center is highlighting Timmy Duggan in September. Timmy is a professional cyclist who suffered a traumatic brain injury during a race in 2008. That didn’t stop him. He kept riding until his retirement in 2012. Nowadays, he helps young children get involved in cycling and skiing through the Just Go Harder Foundation. Timmy’s story is not only inspiring — it’s also the perfect illustration of how a helmet while biking can be the difference between life and death.
- See why we chose Timmy.
Victor Medina always dreamed of joining the military. But a sudden explosion during his third tour of combat overseas changed his life changed forever. As he dealt with the horrible ramifications of TBI, he helped set up a website called TBI Warrior, which serves as a resource to those dealing with combat-related brain injuries. For his bravery, strength and concern for others, we’re glad to highlight Victor Medina as our August Teach Believe Inspire honoree.
- See why we chose Victor.
The Brain Injury Law Center is highlighting author Lyrysa Smith this month. Lyrysa’s book, A Normal Life, tells the story of the brain injury her sister suffered that changed the lives of her family forever. Lyrysa combines her journalism background with the intensely personal nature of her family’s struggles to tell a compelling story that will resonate with anyone affected by a brain injury, directly or indirectly.
In June, we feature Linda Arms. Linda is the creator of The Brain Fairy, a website that acts as a resource to people suffering from brain injuries. Linda suffered a brain injury herself in an accident nearly a decade ago and was forced to adapt to a life much different than it was before. Simple tasks became difficult and multitasking became impossible. Once she had her bearings, Linda decided to help others who were put in similar situations.
For May, we bring you the story of Ann Boriskie. Ann was a mother of three with a successful career when she was in a car accident in 1998. Doctors didn’t know it at the time, but she suffered a brain injury. As Ann began to grabble with the fact that she was now a different person, she tested her own limits and refused to be a victim. Ann founded the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association to help brain injury sufferers and those who care for them get the support she didn’t have in her own recovery.
This month, we highlight Gary Schopmeyer, a talented drummer who survived a horrific car crash in 2010. When he awoke from a five-day coma, Gary was diagnosed with a brain injury. He thought he might never play drums again. But not only has he continued to play — he shares his enthusiasm with others as a drum instructor, using the instrument and its rhythms for their therapeutic value.
- See why we chose Gary.
For March, we have selected Nicole Wight as the recipient of our Teach Believe Inspire award. What happened to Nicole in 2006 was every parent’s nightmare. A car accident left her mother dead and her two young children seriously injured. Due to his injuries, the son Nicole is raising is much different from the boy he once was. But there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love, and Nicole is using her experience to help other parents raising children with brain injuries.
- See more about why we chose Nicole.
To coincide with our new TBI Network, the Brain Injury Law Center is highlighting one person each month who is making huge strides in the TBI community. The recipient of our Teach Believe Inspire award for February 2015 is Janna Leyde, who has cared for her father since he suffered a brain injury when she was a child. She is a writer who recently released her second book.
For our first-ever Teach Believe Inspire award, we selected Abby Maslin, a young woman whose husband suffered a brain injury during a robbery on a Washington, D.C. street in 2012. The injury turned life upside-down for the couple, and Abby turned to the Internet for support and to document her husband’s recovery. Through all the hardship, Abby says she learned to take nothing for granted.