By: Della & Morgan
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth, the holiday, commemorates June 19, 1865. This day is important to African Americans because it was the day that the last group of slaves in the United States gained freedom. The last group of slaves received the news in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This document declared that all slaves shall be free. This was ignored by many slave owners. On January 31, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery once and for all with the 13th Amendment. The news did not travel fast because it was released during the Civil War. The news finally reached everyone after the Civil War ended in 1865. Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, or Liberation Day. This holiday started in Texas, as former slaves moved to the North, the holiday became national.
African Americans celebrate Juneteenth as their own Independence Day. In this celebration, individuals come together to remember the past and celebrate the future. Some of the common activities that take place during this celebration are cookouts, parties, and even parades.
By Jenny T
British statesman Winston Churchill once wrote, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” In my family we take this as a challenge. Both my grandfather and my father-in-law served in WWII, so patriotism is very important to us.
It is now that time of year that we as Americans should turn our collective attention to the Epic 1944 Invasion That Changed the Course of WWII. The Allied invasion of Normandy was among the largest military operations ever taged.Without the brilliant planning and heroic sacrifices of the D-Day invasion, the Allies may have never defeated the Nazi forces in Europe.
The D-Day invasion is significant in history for the role it played in WWII. It marked the turn of the tide for the control maintained by Nazi Germany; less than a year after the invasion, the Allies formally accepted Nazi Germany’s surrender.
Though the ‘D’ in D-Day doesn’t actually stand for anything. The military used the term D-Day to designate the launch date of a mission.he term has become synonymous with the remembrance of June 6, 1944, when more than 156,000 American, British and Canadian troops stormed 50 miles of Normandy’s fiercely defended beaches in northern France.
Not only was D-Day the largest amphibious invasion in military history.
It is also interesting to note that Allied forces carried out a massive deception campaign in advance of D-Day. In addition bad weather delayed the invasion.
Allied losses on D-Day are estimated to be around 4,413 dead. German numbers are not well recorded, but it is estimated that between 4,000 and 9,000 were killed. The Battle of Normandy was fierce and bloody and would last until late August when the Allies crossed the Seine River towards Paris. Casualty rates were slightly higher than they were during a typical day during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Over 425,000 Allied and German troops were wounded, killed or listed as missing during the Battle of Normandy. Of these, around 200,000 were Allied casualties of which almost 53,714 were killed. No reliable figures exist for the German losses, but it is estimated that around 200,000 were killed or wounded with approximately 200,000 more taken prisoner. French civilian casualties during the Battle of Normandy stand at around 19,890 – not including the estimated 15,000 that had been killed during bombardments prior to D-Day. The Battle left 120,000 Normandy buildings destroyed and a further 270,000 damaged.
It was a day that cost many lives on all sides of the conflict, changing not only the future of countries, but of families as well. Because of that, there is much to be learned from those who experienced its victories and its horrors first hand.
By Karl K
A recent study by the National Aphasia Association revealed that a whopping 84.5% of people have never heard the term “Aphasia.” Aphasia affects about two million Americans and is more common than Parkinson’s Disease, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy. Nearly 180,000 Americans acquire the disorder each year. So, given these numbers, it is surprising how few people know anything about it. I can tell you honestly that I knew what it was, but that is where my knowledge ended.
Aphasia is an “acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to process language but does not affect intelligence.” 1 People who have Aphasia typically have trouble talking to and understanding others. Many of them are very slow in reading and writing.
This month we celebrate the many gains in treating Aphasia that allow someone to lead a normal life. We celebrate the many hours put in by therapists, caseworkers, staff members, and caregivers that have made this possible. We also celebrate amazing personal desires to go forward in life. At the same time, we note that there is much more to do.
My recent experiences of leading the Aphasia Group at BIND (Brain Injury Network of Dallas) for many weeks have been very rewarding. I find it remarkable to see the interest among our members who do not even have aphasia to learn and help others.
I feel that “victims” is an improper term to use. It is not a disease. It is a disorder. Although it takes time to improve, the results are not always permanent. With work and perseverance, there is the potential to make positive gains in development. The research clearly shows that Aphasia is not correlated with lack of intelligence or mental illness.2
About 750,000 strokes occur each year in America.3 About a third of all strokes result in Aphasia. Between 25-40% of stroke survivors report that they acquired Aphasia at one point in their recovery.4 It can also result from a head injury, brain tumor, or other neurological causes.
People with Aphasia ask these questions, which are usually difficult for them to process. One is about language retrieval and recognition: (1) Can a person say the words they want? (2) Can a person understand what others say? (3) Can a person listen and read without difficulty? Another set of related questions is about how they speak: (1) They have trouble saying the words they want to say. (2) They switch sounds frequently. (3) They use made-up words to compensate instead of staying silent.5
There are two categories of Aphasia problems that you see. Look at these two samples. One is phonemic: “Apple vs. Papple” or “Barber vs. Marmer.” The other is semantic: “Car vs. Van” or “Tiger vs. Lion” or “Foot vs. Shoe” or “Pear vs. Fruit;”
You can help others who suffer from Aphasia. Here are five steps to follow: (1) Be patient and do not rush the process. (2) Use plenty of time to help the person improve. (3) Establish a topic so that the person has a preview of what should follow. (4) Use “yes” and “no” questions, instead of open-ended types. (5) Repeat what they say and ask for understanding.6
I am sad that so many people who need help cannot get it. I feel that way in many areas, not only about Aphasia. Recently, I found numbers that show the current job market is strong for graduates in communication disorders. At the same time, I become angry when the help is wasted.
For several years, I have asked graduate students who are close to finishing their degrees what they would do about this. I know when they get their job, and start working with clients, it is hard and tiring to think about doing work pro-bono. However, it is the best thing and rewarding thing they can do. I encourage them to do that.
You do not need to be a licensed therapist to help someone with Aphasia. All you must do is talk with someone. Listen. Let them try words and phrases. Celebrate their progress. Help them feel good about themselves. That does not cost any money, but the help is priceless.
With your help, Giving Tuesday 2020 was phenomenal for BIND.
Our day began with a goal to double a $10,000 donation, and YOU GUYS SHOWED UP. Not only was the challenge met at $20,000, but our supporters also TRIPLED efforts to raise more than $34,800! And – several of our donors have asked their employers to match their gifts – bringing our Giving Tuesday grand total to $36,700 and change!
As our community continues to respond to the impact of Covid, our organization has persevered through a year of unexpected challenges that have impacted all of our goals and programs. We will continue to adapt and provide the highest level of services to survivors of stroke, traumatic brain injury, and brain cancer who live in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant Counties, and beyond.
Because of you, we can continue our valuable work to inspire hope, restore purpose for survivors, and maintain our connection to each other and the greater community. On behalf of our members and caregivers, our staff and volunteers, and the BIND board of directors – Thank You.
Enjoy this message from our Members: https://www.facebook.com/111992482241131/videos/2731481227164018
August 2, 2019– BIND: Brain Injury Network of Dallas, a 501c3 nonprofit corporation based in Plano, Texas, is excited to announce the publication of “BIND Us Together: Restoring Purpose, Fueling Hope, and Connecting Brain Injury Survivors to the Community.”
About the Book– More than 30 members of the BIND program – survivors of stroke, traumatic brain injury and brain cancer – came together and wrote about the most challenging times of their lives. This book contains incredibly deep stories of perseverance and immeasurable strength. Each member has relived some of their worst days in order to reclaim power of their situation. The ultimate goal of publication is to help others understand the needs of people who have survived a brain injury, and in some way return the purpose and connection BIND members have found by joining this dynamic program. The book is available on Amazon for the Kindle and paperback. All proceeds will be donated directly to supporting BIND program expenses.
Inspired By– Without the drive and organizational leadership of BIND member Jenny T. and editing provided by BIND member Taylor S., “BIND Us Together” would not be possible. Further, the publication of the book was a team effort between more than 30 program members and BIND volunteers like traumatic brain injury survivor and author Donna Valentino, plus photography provided by stroke survivor and long-time BIND volunteer Dean Stone (Spectaveris Inc, owner/operator). Further, the book was created in honor of one of the program’s founding members, James “Jim” Goodman, “without him we may have never found each other.” Before his passing in early 2019, Jim contributed the first story in “BIND Us Together,” titled “Heart attacks, strokes, and cancer….whatever.” The forward was contributed by BIND Founder and Executive Director Valerie Gotcher and acknowledgements were written by Jenny T. The book was also inspired by participation in the Unmasking Brain Injury project, a profound and therapeutic mask-making activity aimed at increasing public awareness and advocacy for brain injury survivors across the globe.
About BIND– The Brain Injury Network of Dallas is a community center for people living with the effects of an acquired brain injury. BIND operates the first and only Brain Injury Clubhouse in the state of Texas, which is its primary tool used to serve survivors. At BIND, staff and program participants, called Members, work together to run all aspects of the program. The BIND Mission is to provide tools and a bridge of support to adult survivors of acquired brain injury so they can reconnect to work, life and the community. BIND is a proud member of IBICA: International Brain Injury Clubhouse Alliance.
To qualify for Membership– Members must be 18 years of age or older, have a documented acquired brain injury, be independent with self-care and use assistive devices independently, be willing to participate in a working community, not be a threat to self or others, and, have transportation to/from BIND in Plano, Texas.
Written By: Chris B
My stroke occurred in February 2015, unplanned obviously, and very much unwelcomed. Many of my challenges have been summarily defeated/overcome. I have defeated most of my paralysis; I can now use my effected side and jettisoned the cane; speech is very good, but the one ailment that is ever-present for many, regardless of the type of brain injury, is depression.
Part of the unavoidable growth/challenges forced upon many stroke and TBI survivors is the psychological impact of life change as well as overall brain chemistry change due to injury.
Not everyone becomes depressed, but, a sobering half of all people with TBI are effected by depression within the first year after injury. Even more (nearly two-thirds) are effected within seven years after injury. That’s right– it can increase over time.
According to The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, in the general population, the rate of depression is much lower, affecting less than one person in 10 over a one-year period.
More than half of the people with TBI who are depressed also have significant anxiety.
In the big picture, everyone can imagine reminiscing about past life events, not different than an athlete realizing they can’t compete at the same level.
Getting over an ended relationship is never fun – the parallels are similar. As with all of these analogies, visiting the past is better than living in it.
Easier said than done, but, listen to your wellness team, family, church, neighbors, and get help if you or others notice behavior changes or overall withdrawal from society. It’s a very common reaction post brain injury to want to cocoon and remove yourself from interaction, but, staying active and finding friends/purpose/goals can help a lot.
The bottom line, GET HELP, be it, discussion, physician-prescribed medication, counseling, finding a hobby – all have been proven to work and it will be a forward step on your path to a better future.
Fortunately, I’m mobile and can drive, so I was able to increase my social circle by joining a gym and volunteering at a farm museum.
I had the fun effect of crying for no reason (commercials, speeches, church hymns…); medication worked for me without impacting my personality.
Keeping busy is an often-prescribed cure for mood change, which can be difficult as the drive/inertia is often low post brain injury. Group activities and a standard schedule can help with accountability for activities.
BIND is a place where members can find people with similar situations and thoughts from various backgrounds, and the environment can fill the void of lost friendships/coworkers and exposes many to the successes of the recovery journey.
The group activities and responsibilities we undertake help with one’s self-esteem and purpose.
I’d strongly encourage someone who has suffered an acquired brain injury to check out BIND or any local stroke/TBI support group.
Volunteers at BIND are such special people. Last year, alone, we were gifted with 2,880 volunteer hours, the equivalent of a full time employee working 40 hours a week. They are truly indispensable, and we want them to know how thankful we are for them. They are heroes in championing our mission and supporting our cause. BIND Volunteers help to make a difference in the lives of BIND Members.
This month (April) is Volunteer Appreciation Month, and it was a pleasure for us to have had the opportunity to interview just a few of our 100 dedicated BIND volunteers.
How would your friends describe you in 3 words? Honest; Strong; Quiet
If you had a warning label, what would it say? Must love cats!
- Atticus Ross
Songs by mood?
- Road trip: Anything classical or Tom Petty
- Cleaning House: Imagine Dragons mix
- Workout: N/A I don’t work out
Where did you go to school? University of Dallas-B.A. English Language/Lit;
U.T.A-class of 2020-M.S.W. (Masters of social work)
Where did you grow up? Minnesota
Siblings? 4 brothers
Married? Widowed 2014
Children? Daughter passed 2014
Pets? Cat: Gizmo
Where else have you worked? Senior care- 4.5 years
Corporate- 19 years
What was your favorite thing about your last job? Relationship with clients/ caregivers
Include a meaningful quote: “It’s only when you have lost everything that you are free to do anything”
“Trees grow through rock”
“We all have the same 24 hours in a day …How will you use yours?”
How would your friends describe you 3 words? loyal; fun; adventurous
If you had a warning label, what would it say? Speaks her mind!
Favorite band? INXS
Songs by mood?
- Happy: “That thing” -Lauryn Hill
- Sad: “In My Life” – Beatles
Where did you go to school? Syracuse UN.
Where did you grow up? Canada
Children? 1 son
Where else have you worked? Hospital
What was your favorite thing about your last job? Case load
Include a meaningful quote:“The end justifies the means.”
How would your friends describe you 3 words? Fun; Energetic; Social
If you had a warning label, what would it say? She is a cheerleader!!!!!
- Koe Whetzel or Parker McCullum
Songs by mood?
- Road trip: country
- Cleaning House: classical
- Workout: pop
Where did you go to school?Mansfield Legacy; currently: U.N.T.
Where did you grow up? Rendon, TX.
Siblings? 1 Sister; 2 Brothers
Pets? Pomeranian: Honey Almond Mae
Where else have you worked? On the U.N.T. campus – Student Affairs
What was your favorite thing about your last job?
I love being able to help people, especially cheerleaders, learn new skills, as well as lifelong skills that will push them further in life. Being able to see people learn and grow is a passion of mine. I love being a part of their journey and making an impact.
Include a meaningful quote: “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”
How would your friends describe you 3 words? gregarious, fearless, adventurous
If you had a warning label, what would it say? Loud (but not in a bad way)
- Beatles, Sting, Ramones, Stones…
Songs by mood?
- Road trip: CCR
- Cleaning House: Aretha Franklin
- Workout: Eighties music
Where did you go to school? U.T.A.
Where did you grow up? Dallas area
Siblings? Too many
Children? 2 children and 3 grandchildren
Pets? 2 cats
Where else have you worked? Methodist, Baylor Rehab, various restaurants as a chef.
What was your favorite thing about your last job? The love everybody has for their job and each other
Include a meaningful quote: “My Brain is not working today — I am not synapsing”
We also have 2 new Employees at BIND we would like for you to get to know a little better:
How would your friends describe you (three words?)
Bossy, organized, and shopper extraordinaire.
If you had a WARNING Label, it would say: Warning! My speed may cause blurred vision.
Favorite Band: U2
Songs by Mood:
Road Trip: “Mad World” – Gary Jules
Cleaning House: “Another One Bites the Dust” – Queen
Workout: “Till I Collapse” – Eminem
Where did you go to school? Texas Tech Health Sciences Center
Where did you grow up? Lubbock, Texas
Siblings? 2; I’m the oldest; One brother; One sister
Children? One son
Pets? Rey (like the Jedi)
Where else have you worked? Various rehab settings at all levels of care.
What was your favorite thing about your last job? Everything except the documentation, but especially my brain injury patients who come in every shape, size and all have stories that inspire me.
Include a meaningful quote: “Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of your hard work isn’t what you GET FOR it, but what you BECOME for it.”- Dr. Steve Maraboli
But my words to live by: Life is short… buy the shoes.
How would your friends describe you (three words): Bright, feisty, and spunky!
If you had a warning label, what would it say? “Contents under pressure. Do not shake!”
Favorite Band? Wild Child
Songs by Mood:
Road Trip: “Welcome Home, Son” -Radical face
Cleaning house: Spanish music
Workout: “Power”-Kanye West
Sad: “Present Tense” – Radiohead
Where did you go to school? University of North Texas
Where did you grow up? Illinois
Siblings? 2 brothers; 1 sister; I am the oldest
Pets? Hopefully soon
Where else have you worked? Starbucks; Camp Summit; the U.N.T. Kirstin Ferrer Autism Center
What was your favorite thing about your last job? Wearing scrubs everyday
Include a meaningful quote: “ ‘Stay angry, little Meg,’ Mrs. Whatsit whispered. ‘you will need all of your anger now.’’’ – A Wrinkle in Time