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On September 11th, 2012 I suffered a severe concussion/traumatic brain injury playing volleyball for Arlington High School. I tripped while running to set the ball and my head and hip broke my fall. I was taken to Cascade Valley hospital first before being transferred to Seattle Children's. After 3 days I was released to go home but returned to Haborveiw ER the following night because of a seizure. I had to relearn how to walk, talk, eat, take a shower, and other things you would normally take for granted. I walked with a cane until I was able to use Abby (my medical alert service dog) and between her and PT I got my balance back. I started back to school full time in September of 2013 and the school district has been so great with accommodating my needs. Eighteen months later I am physically back to normal but I am nowhere near back to "normal" cognitively/mentally/emotionally. I still struggle with a chronic headache 24/7, seizures, anxity disorders, PTSD, and migraines.
You may be wondering "what can a service dog do for a brain injury?" Well Abby has been my life saver. Her main job is to alert me to my seizures and get help for me. She also does many other task such as blocking (creating distance from me and other people), deep pressure therapy (providing deep pressure against my legs during an anxiety attack), helping me cope with emotional overload (provides a distraction), distracting during a PTSD episode, and waking me up during a nightmare or flashback.
In the past 4 months I have been selling Head's Up Concussion Awareness bands to help promote the spread of concussion awareness. 100% of the proceeds go directly to The Brain Injury Association of America. So far I have raised $1,800 and sold over 400 bands. I have bands in more than 10 states around the US and that number is contiunously growing. My goal is to raise a total of $2,500 for the research on concussions and brain injures. At the end of the day my main goal is to bring awareness to our communities about the seriousness of brain injuries.
GET YOUR BRACELET
After you have donated please email me your address and I will put an awareness bracelet in the mail to you ASAP! Also please include how many you would like. I suggest a $1 donation per bracelet but feel free to give more! I've had donations ranging from $1 to $200! All donations are tax deductible: The Brain Injury Association of America Tax ID 04-2716222
I love hearing from people about how they are raising awareness in their communities and especially love pictures of people wearing their bands. See pictures in my gallery from people wearing bands at Seahawk game in Seattle, Super Bowl in New Jersey and at my school. Please feel free to contact me via email at email@example.com!