TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Hope for Trauma’

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.

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“Another Fork in the Road” . . . Brain Injury Radio Network . . . Panel Discussion – “All Disabilities Are Not Visible”

YOU ARE INVITED!

Panel Discussion – “All Disabilities Are Not Visible”

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

with host Donna O’Donnell Figurski

putthis_on_calendar_clip_art

Catherine (Cat) Brubaker, Julie Kintz, and Juliet Madsen join host Donna O’Donnell Figurski to discuss the many problems that surround their lives as brain injury survivors who look “normal.”

People easily understand the implications arising when someone suffers a broken limb or is diagnosed with cancer or is physically disabled. But, when someone is living with an “invisible” brain injury, folks find it difficult to comprehend. They don’t understand the seriousness of memory loss, confusion, lack of organizational skills, bursts of anger, or lack of emotions. “Get over it!” “That happens to me too,” and “Oh, I know what you mean….” are some of the phrases that are commonly heard by brain injury survivors, and they’re infuriating. Such a phrase is a big, red flag that shouts that the friend, family member, or loved one simply does not understand what his or her survivor is going through. Cat, Julie, and Juliet will address this topic. They hope to help others understand more clearly what it means to live with a brain injury while looking “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.”

Come One! Come ALL! 

What:        Panel Discussion Topic – “All Disabilities Are Not Visible”

Why:        Cat, Julie, and Juliet will discuss how “Invisible” brain injury affects their lives.

Where:     Brain Injury Radio Network

When:       Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Time:         5:30p PT (6:30p MT, 7:30p CT, and 8:30p ET) 80 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 USA

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.)

(Photos compliments of panelists.)

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

 

Itty-Bitty GIant Steps for BlogSPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty Giant Steps will provide a venue for brain-injury survivors and caregivers to shout out their accomplishments of the week.

If you have an Itty-Bitty Giant Step and you would like to share it, just send an email to me at neelyf@aol.com.

If you are on Facebook, you can simply send a Private Message to me. It need only be a sentence or two. I’ll gather the accomplishments and post them with your name on my blog approximately once a week. (If you do not want your last name to be posted, please tell me in your email or Private Message.)

I hope we have millions of Itty-Bitty Giant Steps.

 

Here are this week’s Itty-Bitty Giant Steps

Cat Brubaker with Congresswoman Krysten Sinema

Cat Brubaker with Congresswoman Krysten Sinema

 

Catherine (Cat) Brubaker (survivor)…I’m very excited to have gone all the way to Washington, DC, all by myself.

I planned it, and I got to my appointments on time. I still used a wheelchair at the airport because of overstimulation, shaky balance, and the possibility of getting lost. I met with my congresswoman about brain injury and about helping me with my new foundation, Hope for Trauma. I can’t believe how far I’ve come in a year. I feel very excited.

Jonathan Curtis (survivor)…Today I had an amazing day at Website-Volunteersmy volunteer job at a nursing home. I went with a difficult resident to an eye clinic appointment, and I organized a movie in the nursing home coffee shop. I felt so able and competent!

Keri Giacomini (caregiver)…My husband, John, had a very severe TBI almost twelve years ago. While he was at college, he fell out of a third floor window. The only residual problems are from aphasia. But, he does really well. Also, he is so sweet and thoughtful. A few days ago, we were thtalking about my care bear, which I’ve had since I was four (that is, for 27 years). He is a secret bear. He is now brown, has no eyes, and doesn’t talk. John knows how much my care bear means to me. He’s been with me through the toughest of times – surgery, hospitalizations, etc. I have Crohn’s Disease, and my care bear has always been my comfort. Well after we were talking, John went on eBay and ordered me an original secret care bear that still talks. He knows how much it means to me. It was probably the sweetest thing he’s done. I just thought I’d share what he did because, while John is always caring and sweet, sometimes it’s hard for him to initiate things.

Timothy Guetling (survivor)…Swaim Guetling is soon to graduate from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). He is a Communications major with a 3.5 GPA. Swaim is my Swaim Guetling21-year-old son. I’m thankful that he is where he can do best for himself and that he took the love, respect, and guidance from his parents to assist him in his future, wherever it takes him. Swaim speaks four languages. He has been around the US, India, and China with his fellow students. I am stoked to the max. He’s a chip off the old block, except he has hair!

 

YOU did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

 

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

bigstock-cartoon-face-vector-people-25671746-e1348136261718

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.)

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