TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Cat Brubaker’

On The Air: Brain Injury Radio “Another Fork in the Road” . . . Panel Discussion – “All Disabilities Are Not Visible”

On The Air: Brain Injury Radio “Another Fork in the Road”

Panel Discussion – “All Disabilities Are Not Visible”

Panel Members – Catherine (Cat) Brubaker, Julie Kintz, and Juliet Madsen

with Host, Donna O’Donnell Figurski

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

images-1Brain Injury survivors, Catherine (Cat) Brubaker, Julie Kintz, and Juliet Madsen discussed many issues that surround their lives as brain injury survivors who look “normal.”

Cat Brubaker Survivor Panel 070515Cat Brubaker is a two-time traumatic brain injury survivor and the founder of “Hope For Trauma.” Also, in the summer of 2014, Cat rode her recumbent trike Across America (diagonally) to raise awareness for brain injury.

Julie Kintz Survivor Panel 070515When Julie Kintz‘s car went off a cliff in California in 1991, she got a brain injury. Julie is a former Brain Injury Radio Network host.

Juliet Madsen UniformTroop, Juliet Madsen, got her brain injury while serving her country in Iraq. Juliet is a member of the Board of Directors of R4 Alliance and is a master quilter. You can see some of her work at “Stroke of Luck Quilting.”

If you missed this panel discussion about “invisible” brain injury on “Another Fork in the Road” on July 5th, you can listen to the archived show here. Click the link below to listen to Cat, Julie, Juliet, and me.

See you “On the Air!”

On The Air: Brain Injury Radio “Another Fork in the Road” Panel Discussion – “All Disabilities Are Not Visible”

Click here for a list of all “Another Fork in the Road” shows on the Brain Injury Radio Network.

TBI Tales . . . Tracking Miles in Electric Blue and Shiny Mango

Tracking Miles in Electric Blue and Shiny Mango

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Cat TrikeCatherine (Cat) Brubaker (TBI survivor) got a black Catrike 700. Dan Zimmerman (StrokeZimmerman, Dan survivor) got a black Catrike 700. They pedaled across America diagonally, 5,300 miles, and it changed each of their lives.

David Figurski (TBI survivor) got a trike, an electric blue Catrike 700, the same model as Cat and Dan’s, but a different color.040915 David 1st Ride Catrike 700

Donna O’Donnell Figurski (copycat) got a trike, too. Though to show her independence, she didn’t get a Catrike 700. She went for the Donna's Pocket 040915Shiny Mango Pocket Trike. It’s cute!

DonnaNow David and Donna want to match Cat and Dan’s GOAL! We want to trike 5,300 miles in the desert. I wonder how long it will take us.

LET’S GO!

NAME          DATE                     Total MILES since 4/9/15

David           1/24/16                    1,570

NAME          DATE                    Total MILES since 4/9/15

Donna          1/24/16                 79

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(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of Me.)

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury Catherine (Cat) Brubaker

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It can happen to anyone, anytime, . . . and anywhere.

The Brain Trauma Foundation states that there are 5.3 million people in the United States living with some form of brain injury.

On “Faces of Brain Injury,” you will meet survivors living with brain injury. I hope that their stories will help you to understand the serious implications and complications of brain injury.

The stories on SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury are published with the permission of the survivor or designated caregiver.

If you would like your story to be published, please send a short account and two photos to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury.

Catherine (Cat) Brubaker (survivor)

Catherine Cat Brubaker 031915Catherine Brubaker is a two-time traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor. Using her walker, Catherine, who was determined to take back her life, walked into Sun Cyclery in Phoenix, Arizona, in September 2013 and purchased a recumbent trike.

On June 29, 2014, she joined a stroke survivor and began what was to become the journey of her lifetime. Catherine and her new riding partner rode 5390 miles across America on their recumbent trikes. The trip took 5 1/2 months. It started in Anacortes, Washington, and concluded in Key West, Florida. Catherine pedaled over several high-altitude mountain passes and persevered through snow, rain, mud, and every imaginable obstacle. Through this experience, Catherine has been able to regain her freedom and confidence, find purpose, and rebuild her body as part of her recovery from undignified tragic circumstances.Catherine-journey-SFS MAP

Catherine actively reaches out to inspire brain injury survivors to help them reclaim their lives through recumbent trikes and art. She is scheduled for several speaking engagements across the nation in 2015.

Catherine has partnered with “Spokes Fighting Strokes” (SFS) in her grassroots effort to encourage a national conversation about brain injury, regardless of its cause. Together, SFS and Catherine will teach as many brain injury survivors as possible to ride recumbent trikes to aid in their recovery. Success stories can be found on Catherine’s website (www.irideforhope.org).

As part of her recovery, Catherine was enrolled in a special program called “Artists for Trauma,” which has brought her great joy. Catherine has recently been named the Brain Injury Ambassador for this foundation. She is honored to be a part of this effort, and she looks forward to contributing her art and collaborating with artists and trauma survivors. Her works of art and photography can be found at http://www.irideforhope.org. All proceeds go toward her foundation.

Brubaker, Catherine CAT Hope for TraumaCatherine is also in the process of launching a foundation called, “Hope for Trauma.” Its mission is to encourage a national conversation about brain injury, regardless of its cause. Her foundation will also be concerned with brain injury’s impact on survivors and their families and with the invisible challenges they face.

Catherine’s road to her newfound freedom has been long and filled with obstacles. After being assaulted in 2010, which caused Catherine’s initial TBI, she had to relearn how to walk, talk, and eat on her own. This involved many months and multiple physicians (often several in a day). In 2012, Catherine’s heart began to fail, and she was on the brink of death. She received a pacemaker and a new chance at life. Luck was not on her side, though, and she was in a collision with another vehicle shortly thereafter. Catherine had to once again relearn how to walk, talk, and do basic daily tasks.

Catherine can no longer drive or live by herself. She lost her career and her ability to be independent.Catrike 700 Blue Cognitively Catherine was set back to early grade school. Her primary relationship became strained, as her partner became her caregiver. Eventually the strain became too much for her partner. Faced with these losses, Catherine hit rock bottom. She tried to take her own life in March 2014. Shortly afterward, Catherine met her current riding partner. It was in that meeting that she learned of the ride across the US. That spark ignited her competitive spirit and gave her a new outlook on life.

Prior to her TBIs, Catherine was an accomplished professional. She went to Pacific Union College in Napa, California, and graduated with a B.S. degree in Psychology. She worked with military veterans and offered them financial, investment, and insurance services. She led a team of 12-15 associCuracaoMarriott_oates. During her career, Catherine decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Leadership, which she obtained in 2007. She accomplished this with a 4.0 GPA and while working full time! She was also an avid skier on black diamond runs, and she enjoyed running two miles daily, rain or shine.

To learn more about Catherine, check out these sites.

Survivors SPEAK OUT! Catherine (Cat) Brubaker

Catherine (Cat) Brubaker: Triking Across America

“Another Fork in the Road” Brain Injury Radio Network – “Triking Across America Diagonally” with Catherine (Cat) Brubaker

On the Air – Brain Injury Radio: Interview – Catherine Brubaker – Triking Across America

Catherine Brubaker’s Photo Journal (Part 1) Washington to Florida

“Another Fork in the Road” Brain Injury Radio Network – Catherine (Cat) Brubaker’s and Dan Zimmerman’s Reflections – Triking Across America

(Clip art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

On the Air: Brain Injury Radio Another Fork in the Road: Catherine and Dan’s Reflections – Triking Across America

On the Air: Brain Injury Radio Interview with

Catherine (Cat) Brubaker and Dan Zimmerman

Another Fork in the Road:

Catherine and Dan’s Reflections – Triking Across America

images-1IMPORTANT NOTE: Because of technical difficulties, the show cuts out at the 6:37-minute marking and returns at the 10:30-minute marking. When the air is dead, drag the cursor to 10:30 and happy listening.

It was a pleasure to spend the evening with Catherine (Cat) Brubaker and Dan Zimmerman on my show, “Another Fork in the Road.” They are my heroes! It was such fun to dig into the depths of their feelings to learn what it meant to them toCat & Dan at the FInish Line 112914 travel across America for 5 months on recumbent trikes -a total of 5,300 miles.

If you missed the show, don’t fret. You can always listen to the archived show.

You can get to the interview by clicking the link at the bottom of this page. (Wait a few seconds for the audio to start.) Because of technical difficulties, the show cuts out at the 6:37-minute marking and returns at the 10:30-minute marking. When the air is dead, drag the cursor to 10:30 and start listening.

Cat Brubaker Crossing America – diagonally

Dan Pedaling to Maragaritaville

Dan Zimmerman Pedaling to Margaritaville

 

I hope you’ll tune in to my show, “Another Fork in the Road,” which airs the 1st and 3rd Sunday evenings of every month. The show starts at 5:00p Pacific Time and runs for 90 minutes. On the fifth Sunday in a month, Julie Kintz, Host of “Quantum Leap,” and I team up to cohost a show called “Another Quantum Leap in the Road.”

REMEMBER: Read above for directions for the technical difficulties.

See you “On the Air!”

Another Fork in the Road: Catherine and Dan’s Reflections – Triking Across America

Click here for a list of all “Another Fork in the Road” shows on the Brain Injury Radio Network.

Catherine Brubaker’s . . . . . . . . Photo Journal – (Part 1) Washington to Florida

Triking Across America – diagonally –

Photo Journal Part 1

Washington to Florida

 

On June 29, 2014, Catherine (Cat) Brubaker and Dan Zimmerman set off from Anacortes, Washington on their recumbent trikes to trike across America – diagonally. Their destination – Key West, Florida – a trip of 5,200 miles.

I can’t even wrap my head around driving 5,200 miles in a car, let alone covering that distance under pedal-power. (I made up that word.)

Here's what 5,200 miles looks like.

Here’s what 5,200 miles looks like.

 

01 Cat on Trike 10350428_10204753083335148_667202674095765199_n

Cat, who survived two brain injuries triked to raise awareness for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) on “Cat’s Ride for Life.”

02 Dan on Trike 1069184_441000132665517_2000066735_n

Dan, a stroke survivor, pedaled for awareness for stroke prevention with “Spokes Fighting Strokes.”

This is the van loaded down with equipment that will be traveling with Cat and Dan

This is the van loaded down with equipment, supplies, and food that will be traveling with Cat and Dan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oops! A blowout before the trip even begins.

Oops! A blowout before the trip even begins

Cat is interviewed by  AZCentral - 12 News - The Arizona Republic

Cat is interviewed by AZCentral – 12 News – The Arizona Republic

Cat and Dan ride under "Spokes Fighting Strokes."

Cat and Dan ride under “Spokes Fighting Strokes.”

 

 

 

 

 

Cat and Dan ride about 50 miles per day and their average speed is about 13mph. They’ve seen a wolf, wild turkeys, and even “giant” crickets in Washington. Here are some of the beautiful sites Cat has encountered along the way. (More to come.)

 10420010_10204564402018233_4022721289719272020_n

Check out the Ascent and Elevation on this Garmin.

Cat and Bear sharing a little love.

Cat and Bear sharing a little love.

Washington sites

Washington sites

 M10338763_10204580536701590_2716290322768561350_n

Lake McDonald in National Glacier Park

Purple wild flowers along the highway

Purple wild flowers along the highway

Hmm, wondering if this will be Cat's new wheels for another Trip Across America.

Hmm, wondering if this will be Cat’s new wheels for another Trip Across America.

Pure bliss

Pure bliss

On the Air – Brain Injury Radio Interview – Catherine Brubaker Triking Across America

On the Air – Brain Injury Radio

Interview with Catherine (Cat) Brubaker

Triking Across America – diagonally

 

images-1In my interview of Catherine (“Cat”) Brubaker, Cat tells the story of her life before her brain injury, her two TBIs, and her recent 5200-mile trip across the US (diagonally) on a recumbent trike.

Cat came from a humble and religious family. As a child, she loved sports and the outdoors. Her parents sacrificed so that she could go to college, where she earned a B.S. degree in Psychology. That education has been immensely valuable to Cat, especially now that she has a brain injury. It was “probably the best education I have ever received from any institution.” Cat then went on to earn a Master’s Degree in 2007, with a perfect 4.0 average (all As). Her father passed away two years earlier, and Cat knew he would’ve been proud.

From Anacortes, Washington to Key West, Florida (5,200 miles)

In her mid-30s, Cat had made a great life for herself. She had a good job with lots of responsibility; she had a long-term relationship; and she was enjoying the independence of her life. Then she acquired her first TBI from an assault. She had to learn everything again. Cat had many deficits from her brain injury, including problems with balance. She suffered from Post-Concussive Syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). When Cat left the hospital a year later, she became involved in a head-on collision and received another TBI. For a second time, she had to relearn everything from scratch. Her long-term relationship ended, and she desperately missed her independence and freedom.  When her mother died unexpectedly, Cat hit bottom.

Meet Cat’s Grizzly Bear

Then Cat discovered the recumbent trike and regained some of her independence. She later met Dan Zimmerman, a stroke survivor, while he was riding his recumbent trike. They stopped and talked, and he told her of his plan to ride across the country. Cat decided immediately that she wanted to do it too. After much preparation, the trip is happening. Cat has been greatly moved by the outpouring of love and generosity. She wishes that everyone could experience so much love at least once. Cat discusses some details of her trip so far, including one time in Montana when she was alone and encountered a grizzly bear. Cat’s discussion will mesmerize you.

Ride, Cat, RIDE!

 

If you missed the show, don’t fret. You can always listen to the archived show. I’ve included the link below.

Please SHARE!

I hope you’ll tune in to my show, “Another Fork in the Road,” which airs the 1st and 3rd Sunday evenings of every month. The show starts at 5:00p Pacific Time and runs for 90 minutes. On the 2nd and 4th Sundays at 5:00p Pacific Time, Julie Kintz hosts “Quantum Leap.” When there is a fifth Sunday in a month, Julie and I will team up to cohost a show called “Another Quantum Leap in the Road.”

See you “On the Air!”

 

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

“Another Fork in the Road” . . . Brain Injury Radio Network: “Triking Across America – diagonally,” with Catherine (Cat) Brubaker

YOU ARE INVITED!

 

putthis_on_calendar_clip_art“Another Fork in the Road” on Brain Injury Radio Network invites you to meet Catherine (Cat) Brubaker who is “Triking Across America – diagonally.” Cat looks like your normal, everyday, young woman. But what you don’t know about Cat, by just looking at her, is that she is living with not one, but two, traumatic brain injuries. But, Cat does not let her brain injury tie her down. No, she is on a 5,200 mile trike trip across America – diagonally – to raise awareness for TBI. Come hear Cat.

Come One! Come ALL!

(NOTE: New Day, Sunday – Same Time)

What:        “Another Fork in the Road” . . . Brain Injury Radio Network presents “Triking Across America – diagonally” with Catherine (Cat) Brubaker

Why:         Hear Cat’s amazing story of how she is pedaling into her future on he recumbent trike despite two traumatic brain injuries..

Where:     Brain Injury Radio Network

When:       Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Time:         5:00p PDT (6:00p MDT, 7:00p CDT, and 8:00p EDT) 90 minute show

How:         Click: Brain Injury Radio Network.

Call In:    424-243-9540

Call In:     855-473-3711 toll free in USA

Call In:    202-559-7907 free outside US

or SKYPE

If you miss the show, but would like to still hear the interview, you can access the archive on On Demand listening. The archived show will be available after the show both on the Brain Injury Radio Network site and on my blog in “On the Air.”

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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No memory of the day that changed my life

My name is Michelle Munt and this is my story about surviving a brain injury and what I continue to learn about it. This is for other survivors and their loved ones, but also to raise awareness of what can happen to those in an accident. This invisible injury too often goes undiagnosed and it can be difficult to find information about it. I will talk about things that have helped me as I continue to recover and invite others to see if it works for them too.

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