• Brain injury can change a life
    April 27,2013

    Article raised awareness

    Anna Grearsonís recent articles on concussions in Vermont school sports highlight an increasing national awareness regarding head injuries in sports. This helps open a broader discussion about youth head injuries, whether suffered participating in school sports or in any other venue. This dialogue must not only focus on the return to play, but on the learning implications. You can look OK but may have evolving learning and memory issues that can be easily missed or discounted. These can derail school and/or job performance and alter lives. It is vital that our schools and teachers play a part in this, but parents must be advocates and on the front lines.

    Brain injuries do not discriminate. They afflict all ages and happen anywhere and at any time. These injuries may result from falls, accidents, violence, tumors, strokes, seizures, infections, sports injuries, military actions and more. In an instant, lives of the brain-injured and their families often are dramatically impacted. If you survive, the physical and mental challenges following a brain injury may be a reality lasting a lifetime. You may look and sound the same, yet things you once took for granted may be overwhelming or impossible.

    Four years ago, I suffered a traumatic brain injury, and Iím fortunate to be a survivor. Iím hoping to garner support for the May BIAVT 2013 Walk for Thought, which helps provide the essential dollars that stay entirely in Vermont funding the nonprofit Brain Injury Association of Vermont and the programs and services it offers to all.

    My family and I have struggled with the many challenges and changes following my TBI in 2009. Every year 3,000-plus Vermonters need medical services due to brain injury. The Brain Injury Association of Vermont provides valuable services and resource information, peer support to survivors and their families, essential brain injury information and prevention education for youth, advocacy and more. Funds raised through the BIAVT 2013 Walk for Thought event will help the association support these valuable efforts benefiting Vermonters dealing with the unexpected journey a brain injury can send individuals, families and friends on. The impact of a brain injury is never isolated to a moment in time. It affects nearly everyone and everything associated with the injured person. There may be physical and mental impairment, altered perception and ability to learn, changes in personality, depression and financial hardship. Families can collapse, friendships evaporate, businesses are hurt and everyone is overburdened.

    It is never easy asking for help, but Iím asking you to join me in support of this Vermont nonprofit. Please sponsor me or another participant in the BIAVT 2013 Walk with your tax-deductible gift. Any amount helps. You can contribute securely on our 2013 Walk page at biavt.donorpages.com/WalkforThought2013/CentralVTThinkers or by check payable to the BIAVT; in the memo area please note CVTT-BMorgan, and mail to: BIAVT (2013 Walk for Thought), P.O. Box 482, Waterbury, VT 05676. To learn more visit www.biavt.org.

    Bill Morgan


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