TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Kimberly June West’

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

11136933_10155590257065643_153293147_nLisa Marie Cohen (survivor)…I hiked a mountain! It was Mount Beacon on the Hudson River.

Bonita Gibb (caregiver)…I was reflecting on how I came to be the person I am today. One of the moments in my life canstock5980362that showed me my true colors was sitting in the ICU (intensive care unit) and praying for a miracle. It was during that dark time that I realized just how strong I am. While I would do anything to give my husband, Brian, back his independence, I also am thankful for that moment and all it had to teach me.

Sarah Klingler (survivor)Graduate broomfield-orthodontics-graduation-cartoonI learned that I can do anything as long as I put my mind to it. I got my TBI when I was eight. I started having seizures the next week, and they haven’t stopped. As a result, I’ve never driven. But, I graduated from high school with honors, and I am two semesters from getting my Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education.

Pamela Miceli (caregiver)Welcome HomeMy son came home for good last week after fifteen months of rehab! Can we say that this is a Great Big Giant Step?

Tina Thorne (caregiver)…My son, Jordan, is a two-time brain-cancer survivor and has had an ABI (acquired brain injury) since the age of twelve. He is eighteen now. He received a very nice message from a lady representing the Brain Tumour Foundation of London, Ontario, Canada. The foundation wanted Jordan to attend a special dinner for an event on the foundation’s behalf. docs-on-ice-generic“Docs on Ice” is an annual event that travels from community to community. Nine hundred doctors from across Ontario come to a city and raise money for an individual charity every year. This year the city is London and the charity is the Brain Tumour Foundation. Darryl Sittler, a retired National Hockey League player who was elected to the Hall of Fame and who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, was the guest speaker. Jordan was an ideal choice. He is a brain-injury survivor and a hockey buff. He thanked Darryl Sittler for helping to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Foundation and for raising awareness of brain injury. Jordan also met Master of Ceremonies Joe Bowen, “The Voice of the Leafs.” The mayor of London was also in attendance. I am super proud of Jordan!

Kimberly June West (survivor)…I am a consultant for a therapeutic oils company! YAY! These oils are awesome. I was getting sad from all my pain. EssentialOilsThey have given me a love for life and a passion for living. These are products that people love – bath infusions for pain, migraines, eczema, difficulty sleeping, etc. The awesome thing is that I made the leadership team and VIP consultant two months in a row!

YOU did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury

Brain Injury is Not Discriminating.


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 donnaodonnellfigurski@gmail.com. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury.


Chorn, Jennifer Girouard & SpouseJennifer Girouard Chorn (survivor)

I am a TBI (traumatic brain injury) survivor. I fell from the second story of my house onto a tile floor in August 2010. I was life-flighted to the shock and trauma center of the Chorn, Jennifer Girouard & Kidshospital. I was in a coma for almost a month. I broke my arm, back/sacrum, and eye socket. But, the most serious invisible injury is my TBI. Apparently God wasn’t yet done with me. So I’m very thankful for my family, who helps me overcome my TBI every day.

West, Kimberly JuneKimberly June West (survivor)

I am the face of TBI (traumatic brain injury). In 2001, I had a sagittal sinus thrombosis, a clot in the main vein of my brain. Three weeks after I gave birth to my last baby and with only a 10% chance to live, I had several strokes. In 2013, I had a frontal lobe stroke that changed me completely.

Michael - TBI Survivor

Michael – TBI Survivor

Sandy Cutshall Williams (caregiver of son, Michael)

My survivor is twenty months post injury. We visited his neurosurgeon Friday. The doctor stopped mid-sentence with a tear in his eye and said, “Wow, Michael! I just cannot believe you are the same kid I thought would never make it through surgery. I never in a million years thought you would survive and be as well as you are.” Michael walks, talks, and has a part-time job. He still cannot remember much from the previous day, and it’s obvious his speech is a problem. He is more than my survivor and my hero; he is MY son. I am so glad that God gave him back to me.


(Clip art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributors.)

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

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

Itty-Bitty GIant Steps for Blog



SPEAK 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 donnaodonnellfigurski@gmail.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.

Beckie (caregiver) and Jerry…An Itty-Bitty Giant Step from a spouse’s viewpoint:

I’m learning to ease off. He is still a man. He can do and think for himself – just differently. And when I do NOT micromanage, we both are better. (P.S. TBI still sucks.)

Joyce Benavidez (survivor)…Today was the anniversary of my twin birth/death. Thanks to the wonderful support and encouragement I have on Facebook, I made it through my first year without a seizure.

Sara Catherine Birch (caregiver)…My husband managed several days last week without a daytime nap. Yesterday our daughter kept him from sleeping after a shopping trip, but he still managed to make it to bedtime without shouting at any of us. Very happy.

Joey Buchanan (survivor)…I’m getting the leaves out of the pool.

Joy Cameron (survivor)…I survived (LOL). It was a hell of a week, and I am still here, fighting and putting one foot in front of the other.

Natalie Elliott (survivor)…Here’s my Itty-Bitty Giant Step: I survived Thanksgiving with family. I put the tree up, but I had to put it together four times because following a sequence is taxing and very difficult.

Debbie Madison (survivor)…I survived Thanksgiving without killing my brother! And I had a great time!

Gena Marie (survivor)…I flew on an airplane for the first time and did OK. I never thought I would make it safely, but I did.

Joshua Puckett (survivor)…Despite being engulfed by a lot of the flooding feelings this week, I was able to maintain calm throughout. I never went St. Helens. So progress. That’s my Itty-Bitty Giant Step.

Kimberly June West (survivor)…I went on a trip and didn’t have a panic-attack!!

Sandra Williams (survivor/caregiver)…I had a successful IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting. I fought back so many flashbacks and tears. When it was over, the staff said they couldn’t even tell if I was nervous. I still battle negative thoughts, but I ate two meals today – so huge for me since I wasn’t eating but a few times a week!

YOU did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)


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