So, Whaddya Think?
We Must All Be Advocates for Brain Injury Awareness
Beth Kidd Koziol
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
Having been a diehard NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) fan for 50+ years, I’ve seen fatal injuries, career-ending brain injuries, and loss of job, spouse, or self – just part of the damage a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause. Once NASCAR realized the need, it made major changes to the requirements of all safety gear used on the driver and to the inside and the outside of the car. Great strides have been made with “soft”
walls, the HANS (head and neck support) device, a five-point harness system, crush panels in the sides of the car, and so much more. Bobby Allison’s racing career was ended years ago due to a brain injury – before so many changes were made. It wasn’t until the sport lost Dale Earnhardt, Sr. in a horrific Daytona crash that NASCAR really took safety to a higher level. They are still working on safety.
The brain injury community also has a major need. I wish there were more people in schools talking to young children to make them more aware of TBI. (Most children now learn about TBI if they have it themselves.) We want the public to be exposed more to and to be more aware of TBI. The public needs to know how to best try to prevent TBI. The knowledge could also lessen the damage if something happens – a fall, an accident, or whatever might happen.
Awareness is vital. I’m sure that, like me, many survivors have had much trouble getting family and friends to understand what TBI has done to the person. I’m so tired of hearing, “You look fine. You talk OK. It’s just an excuse.” (I’ve heard those very words so many times that I decided to withdraw contact with those who hurt me.) I want to socialize, to have fun, and to be who I am now (ten years later). Recently, a neurologist told me that, due to my brain injury, I’m very high risk for early dementia. This was the first time I’ve ever been told this! So, what are we doing about the problem?
We must all be advocates for brain injury awareness in whatever ways we can to try and make a difference.
So, Whaddya Think?
Let’s get a dialogue going. Post your comments in the Comment Section. Directions are below.
So . . . what do you think? Is there something you are passionate about in this Brain Injury (BI) world? Do you want to be heard? Your opinion matters! You can SPEAK OUT! on “So Whaddya Think?”
Simply send me your opinion, and I will format it for publication. Posts may be short, but please send no more than 500 words. Send to Neelyf@aol.com
I hope to HEAR from you soon.
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