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Press Release

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December 4, 2018 – BIND: Brain Injury Network of Dallas, a 501c3 nonprofit corporation based in Plano, Texas, is excited to announce a grant award of $40,000 from The Meadows Foundation to support costs for the Work Readiness Program.

About the Work Readiness Program – Work Readiness is designed to transition individuals with acquired brain injury (including traumatic brain injury, stroke, or brain cancer) from rehabilitation to the workforce and is based on the concept of “Personal Social Adjustment Training” as described by the Texas Workforce Commission. Members in this program receive group training and vocational assessment in addition to participating in the typical work-ordered day at BIND. Work Readiness covers topics across 10-12 weeks related to growth and success in the workplace.

Each Work Readiness program participant will complete the series with a clear employment plan for the future. This includes fulfillment of a well-rounded skills, interests and strengths inventory that translates to the work setting. Additionally, participants will build physical and cognitive endurance and have the opportunity to identify and practice functional compensatory strategies in a true work environment. By engaging in productive work, BIND Members address appropriate social behaviors and develop skills needed to live and work more independently.

To qualify for Work Readiness: 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, commit to attend the program 2-3 days/week for 10-12 weeks, and, have transportation to/from BIND in Plano, Texas.

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.

About The Meadows Foundation – The Meadows Foundation exists to assist people and institutions of Texas improve the quality and circumstances of life for themselves and future generations. The Meadows Foundation strives to exemplify the principles of its founder in addressing basic human needs by working toward the elimination of ignorance, hopelessness and suffering; protecting the environment; providing cultural enrichment; encouraging excellence; and promoting understanding and cooperation among people.

12-4-18 Meadows Fdn Press Release PDF

Once a Member, Always a Member, Part 3

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Monday begins another school year.  The teachers are making their final lesson plans, straightening up their classrooms, printing out their first assignments, etc.…  The excitement and stress are in the air. The hustle and bustle are seen everywhere you go.   This is my life now. This was my life before my surgery.  Life keeps moving forward, but there have been a few changes.

I had a cavernous hemangioma which led to brain surgery in 2014.

What is an ABI- acquired brain injury?

Acquired brain injury is what they call my brain injury.  When exactly things started, I don’t know, but I can tell you at least 2 defining moments to that brain injury.  The first was the worst headache of my life. Needless to say, there was an overnight stay in the hospital in 2008, and many tests, which only left me with more questions than answers.  Then, toward the end of 2013, while at dismissal with my students, I started seeing halos which led to more doctor appointments, more MRIs, and ultimately to brain surgery.

Before surgery, both sides of my body worked in unison; however, surgery left me with aphasia, hemiparesis, and hemisensory loss.  It has been 4 years, 2 months, and 2 days since surgery and I still notice the effects of surgery. But I can say that time, in this case, has been my friend.

After surgery, I went to rehab for the summer.  It was a struggle and pulled on all my heartstrings – emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual.  In my mind, it was happening to me, and me ALONE. How could my family understand? And that is where I was for a long time.  I was wrong. It wasn’t happening to just me, it was happening to the whole family.

Recovery takes time, patience, and understanding.

It reminds me of the song, “Put One Foot in Front of the Other”.

Put one foot in front of the other

And soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor

Put one foot in front of the other

And soon you’ll be walking out the door

If you want to change your direction

If your time of life is at hand

Well don’t be the rule, be the exception

A good way to start is to stand

For those of you going through a brain injury, remember, it isn’t happening to just you.  Let your family in. Work together and use a lot of patience and understanding with each other.

~Stacy B. (submitted August 2018)

Once a Member, Always a Member: Part 2

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I suffered a traumatic brain injury on November 22, 2014. I was home alone and fell down the stairs. At the time, I was living with my roommate (Jeff). He was going to stay at his girlfriend’s house but, they came home and found me in my bed pretty much bleeding to death. Now, that’s a God moment. He saved my life.

I spent two weeks in ICU at Medical Center of Plano. While there, I had trouble speaking. My brain is swelling more & more so, I have 2 burr-holes in my head which my daughter (Shayli) calls them “my dents”. I have Aphasia and always will.

After 2 weeks in ICU, I was transferred to Baylor Frisco for a week, then Pate Anna, Tx from December 2014 through September 2015 then back to Baylor Frisco where I met Valerie Gotcher.

I couldn’t thank my speech therapists enough. I loved talking with Valerie. At times, I was doing 1st grade work and now, times are still tough especially with numbers or trying to spell the word correctly. I still have trouble talking clearly.

I was released from speech therapy in February 2016. I got laid off from my job in April 2016 but, now I am working at Honda Cars of McKinney in the accounting department and I LOVE my job!

I tip my hat to all my speech therapists especially Valerie. I am honored to be a Member at BIND. I sure wish I could interact more with BIND but, with my job it’s hard to fit it in.

On a last note: you must have the determination; the attitude and the “I want to” vs. “I can’t.”

~DeeDee

Once a Member, Always a Member: Part 1

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So, I asked if I could write this blog. It’s a little “how BIND has helped me, and others move on” and a little “BIND IS doing what it set out to do”. So, with that said first here’s a reminder of our Mission and Vision statements.

  • Our mission is to provide tools and a bridge of support to adult brain injury survivors, so they can reconnect into life, the community and the workplace. Our vision is to lead the DFW area in providing member-driven services and will serve as the model for Brain Injury Clubhouses across the state of Texas.
  • The objectives of BIND include reducing the severity of depression, increasing return to gainful employment or productive community volunteering in survivors, and improvement of quality of life for those affected by acquired brain injury. BIND empowers members to maximize their strengths while developing strategies to meet personal goals for community reintegration and provides a necessary link in the rehabilitative process that assist one in transitioning from therapy to the community upon discharge. This bridge helps the member maintain and improve abilities obtained through the difficult rehabilitative process.

Hi, I’m Carrie I had my stroke at 38 and was paralyzed on the left side of my body and I assumed that meant the end of me ever working, or much of anything else along with supporting myself again. Well 9 years later I have a part time job which I hope to be able to turn into full time in the future. And I owe all of this to BIND. I was one of the fortunate people to get in on the ground floor from stuffing donation request in Valerie’s living room to spending time in a donated conference room at Accel Rehab (the former Integra where it all began) stuffing our 1st Annual Auction Luncheon invitations.

The doors to BIND opened in 2015, I began my work recovery. I couldn’t wait for that one day a week to see my friends and see where this journey would take us. Then we moved to three days a week and we made lots of new friends. At this point I proclaimed myself the “BOSS” and well if you know me, that’s that. But this empowered me to do more in an office environment (which I came from) and re-enforce a lot of my un-used skills and that’s when I began to wonder… “Can I go back to work?” And with Valerie’s encouragement and support, Whoohoo I have, and nothing can stop me now. And I’m still able to volunteer my time and give back to those that helped me and to help others like me.

And I’m not the only one who has felt that BIND gave them what they needed to either:

  • Go back to Work
  • Find a way to give back within their own community
  • Use what they’ve learn to continue to grow after moving away

Just by being open now 5 days a week and having over 50 active members on a weekly basis, I would say we are meeting our objectives. Not every member’s goal is to go back to work but we all want to feel like we add worth and are needed and BIND gives all of us Brain Injury survivors that feeling of belonging and contributing to society.

Check back soon for more Graduate Stories!

~Carrie
The Goodman Award Recipient for Outstanding Volunteer Service, 2018

#ourvolunteersareawesome

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*Volunteers at BIND are such special people. Last year, alone, we were gifted with 2,620 volunteer hours, which is 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. They help make a difference in the lives of BIND Members.

Every April we celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Month and it was a pleasure for me to have had the opportunity to interview just a few of the 40+ dedicated BIND volunteers.

Martha

  1. How did you get involved with BIND?

I met Valerie in rehab. I was her patient. She knew I was involved with arts and crafts and asked me to volunteer.

  1. Do you have any pets?

I have no pets except my husband, Kiver.

  1. What do you do to unwind?

I have been playing the piano since I was 3.

What members are saying about Martha:

-Her willingness to teach Art inspires me to be more creative.

-She brings the best out in me.

-She is a very good teacher and talented artist.

-She has a very good since of humor (she has to, to put up with all of us.).


Neeru

  1. How did you get involved with BIND?

I saw Yvette, Mark and Kevin do a presentation about BIND and loved it.

  1. Do you have any pets?

No, I do not.

  1. What do you do to unwind?

I like to read and watch T.V. a little.

What members are saying about Neeru:

  • I really enjoy playing brain games with her. It is amazing how much effort she puts in to coming up with something new each week.
  • She is just nice.
  • She really gets into her work to help others.
  • She is generous, talented, caring and sociable.


Emilie

  1. How did you get involved with BIND?

Medical Center Plano referred me here. I was an RN there for 50 years.

  1. Do you have any pets?

I don’t have any pets.

  1. What do you do to unwind?

Some of my favorite things are cooking, taking care of my herb garden, and watching T.V.

What members are saying about Emilie:

-She is smiling all the time.

-She is very helpful and goes above and beyond what needs to be done.

-She is a doll; she’s like the Mom that looks out for us all.

-She is kind, conscientious, and caring.


Karen

  1. How did you get involved with BIND?

I heard about BIND through the National Brain Tumor Society in Ft. Worth. I talked to members at a booth in the brain tumor support group. I starting volunteering after that.

  1. Do you have any pets?

I don’t but I have two grand dogs, which are corgi puppies, and are very, very cute.

  1. What do you do to unwind?

I enjoy quilting with my church, reading, and working out at the cancer fitness center with my husband.

What members are saying:

-She is very helpful and takes good care of us.

-She is very compassionate and just a nice lady.

-Big heart full of smiles.

-She fits in with all of us and relates well to everybody.

E.J.

  1. How did you get involved with BIND?

I am a student in Brightwood College and I got assigned to BIND to do my first field work.

  1. Do you have any pets?

No, but I used to have dogs.

  1. What do you do to unwind?

I watch movies, workout and play tennis every once in a while.

What members are saying:

-He brings such positive energy when he walks into the room.

-He does an outstanding job.

-He is a super nice guy.

-He is the most helpful young man I’ve ever seen.

This BLOG Post was Prepared by:

~Jenny, BIND Member

~With support from The Communications Unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to BIND!

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Getting to know Sierra Waddell: Today we welcome our new Program Director to BIND. Enjoy the Q & A, prepared by our Members! 

How would your friends describe you in 3 words?

  • Compassionate
  • Goofy
  • Scatter-brained

If you had a warning label, what would it say?

  • Caution: Do not over-stimulate, or she will self-destruct

Favorite band?

  • Shane & Shane

Favorite songs to listen to while:

  • Road trip = musicals (movie/Broadway)
  • Cleaning House = Old Country (classic)
  • Workout = 90s / early 2000s

Where did you go to school?

  • Undergrad: University of Arkansas in Fayetteville Bachelors of Science Education
  • Graduate: UT Southwestern Master of Clinical Rehabilitation Counselling

Where did you grow up?

  • Lubbock, Texas

Do you have any siblings?

  • I have 1 older sister

Are you married?

  • Yes, to Adam for 3 ½ years and we currently live in Plano

Children?

  • Milo was born 9/12/2017 – 7lbs 1oz and 21.5 inches long

Pets?

  • Lady a Sheppard mix, she was a wedding present to each other. We filled out the rescue application while on our honeymoon.

Where have you worked?

  • I worked for Puzzle Pieced Kids as community outreach coordinator

What was your favorite thing about your last job?

  • Watching kids discover language

What’s your favorite saying?

“Live to love, love to serve.”

~BLOG post completed by BIND Members

Happy Brain Hour Success!

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picturethisgreenscreen21BIND: Brain Injury Network of Dallas is a Plano-based nonprofit organization with a unique and special mission. The BIND program offers tools and a bridge of support to adult brain injury survivors so they can reconnect into life, the community and the workplace. BIND offers refuge for survivors of stroke, traumatic brain injury and brain cancer who are looking for restored sense of purpose, hope and continued healing from their injuries.

 


“Here I have hope for the future me.”

Jennifer, brain cancer survivor

At BIND survivors are called Members, not Patients, and this is an empowering service model. The Members have ownership of daily operations and work in team units that include Communications, Outreach and Advocacy, Kitchen and Maintenance, and Wellness. Essentially, the Members guide and direct the program – allowing the program to serve as a classroom, office, gym, volunteer site, recreation room, social outlet, an art studio, and congregation. Above all else, the BIND program gives each person in attendance a reason to get out of bed and join in.

“BIND has given me a place to go and gives me purpose.”
Carrie, stroke survivor

BIND has partnered with The Medical Center of Plano since opening in early 2015 and was proud to work with them & their HCA partner Medical City Dallas to present the BIND Annual Silent Auction and Happy Brain Hour on October 15th at the Marriott. This event brought $47,000 of operational funding to the program and focused on fun! Guests were invited to challenge their minds through games like charades, hangman, timed mazes and memory tasks. Asking guests to tie a shoe or button a shirt using only one hand tested motor skills, as those with a brain injury may face living with a paralyzed arm or hand.

“It’s a safe place for me to relearn skills in the company of others with similar injuries.”
Taylor, traumatic brain injury survivor

At least 400 Texans each day receive medical care for brain injury and at least 34% of stroke survivors are considered ‘working age.’ The vision for BIND is to serve as the model for additional brain injury programs like theirs across the state of Texas. Currently, the BIND program is at capacity for both space and members served each week and has a waiting list of over 30 survivors of brain injury who find resolve in living a productive life versus one of inactivity and isolation. Consider joining the cause and supporting the BIND mission by making a gift today at www.thebind.org.

“We are so thrilled about the progress BIND has made. It is what we all hoped would happen. I share with everyone I can corner what BIND is and their mission. It is something you hope will not be needed, but I want people to know it is there if the need arises.”
Carol, BIND donor

Special thanks to our event photographers: Bruce Wolpert from Picture This Green Screen
and Jenice Johnson-Williams from Art is Life Studio.

2016 Happy Brain Hour Event Sponsors:
Medical City Dallas & The Medical Center of Plano

The Goodman Family
The Gary Shultz Family

Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Frisco
Warm Springs Rehab Hospital of Allen

PATE Rehabilitation
Rehab Without Walls
Carol & Frank Atkins
Donna Valentino

LearningRX
Accel Rehab Hospital
Lift-Aids, Inc.
Reno Realty Group
CNS: Centre for Neuro Skills

In-Kind Donors:
The Medical Center of Plano
Spectaveris
Austin Shaw, DJ
UNT & UTD Student Volunteers
K & R Artworks
Art is Life Studio
Martha Dahlberg

If you were a guest of ours this year, please take a few moments to complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KJ9W2Q9

Please Visit our Facebook Page for More Event Photos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staying Positive, by Carrie

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In June 2009, I was an outgoing, positive, strong willed and independent 38 year old. One morning I felt sick so I went in the bathroom and sat down on the floor. After a few minutes I realized I was not going to be sick and went to stand up, only to realize that I had no use of the left side of my body. I knew immediately that I had had a stroke; later I’d find out it was a hemorrhagic stroke or brain bleed (15 percent of all strokes are hemorrhagic, but they are responsible for about 40 percent of all stroke deaths; yea to being in the 60th percentile), but I couldn’t understand how or why? I was completely paralyzed on the left side for months. Through lots of therapy, family and friend’s encouragement and prayers, I started to get better. I regained most of the function of my left leg with the exception of my ankle and toes, but with the help of an AFO (ankle brace) I learned to walk again. The arm and hand have not been as cooperative but I do what I can.

Seven years later I can only change one thing in that first sentence and that’s my age. I’m not saying it’s been easy and I am quite a different person. I think the hardest part was the acceptance that my life would never be the same as it was, but also realized that it did not mean my life was over- just different, as some of us call it “finding the new better you”. I believe the key to finding this “new you” is by staying positive. Now you may say “What?” and yes it’s not easy and I wasn’t positive everyday and probably not very much in the beginning but by keeping the positive self talk to “I will get better” I saw a difference and it still helps today. Stroke recovery doesn’t end when therapy does, it actually never ends. You have to keep working at things and finding the positives in your life every day. I also believe in giving back and sharing my experience with new survivors, students, therapists or whoever will listen.

And if you know me at all, you know I have two passions. First the Dallas Stars, this is where I can go and be part of functioning society and nobody really knows something is wrong with me except that I walk a little funny and only use my right arm, but we are all there for the same reason so we are all the same. Go Stars! Second is BIND, this is where I also feel normal and help others feel normal; we all understand the struggle. I am especially thankful to be a part of BIND where I can use my voice and experience to advocate for education and awareness of brain injuries. As well as be a voice to new survivors to let them know that they CAN and WILL survive and thrive!

~Carrie “The Boss” Price

Life As A Cowboy

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My name is Kevin McIntyre. I go by Cowboy. I am the one who wears the Cowboy hat at BIND. I will tell you how life was before, during, and after my Brain Injury.

My life before by Brain Injury was a very exciting to me. I am a Retired 4 Time National Champion Professional Bull rider from PRCA. Some people say that I was already Brain Injured just for getting on the Bulls. I have been thrown, stepped on, gored, and had many broken bones, and concussions. During my time riding, I lost the feeling in my right leg. I went to the Circuit Doctor asking him why I was dragging my right leg, he told me it was ok because people get them and it is called a dead leg. I figure since he was a MD., he knew what talking about. The last Bull I was on snapped my back while I was in chute. I knew then I needed to retire before I was dead.

On April 24, 2011, I just proposed to my wife that morning, and had to head up to the hospital to visit my dad before he passed away. On my way home, I ran into a tree head on because I could not get my Right foot off the gas pedal due to NO feeling in that leg. On my way to the hospital, I died 3 different times. When I got to Medical Center of Plano, they noticed that my face bones had been crushed. It took 3 plastic surgeons 12 hours to put me back together. They also told me that I had a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). I don’t know what a TBI was. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t think right.

After a month of Hospital time and Rehabs, working with many therapist, I am getting better. One of my Speech Therapist at Select Rehab (Peggy) introduced me to Valerie Gotcher. Valerie introduced me to BIND (Brain Injury Network of Dallas), and to Karl Heller (who is my Peer Partner Mentor). I have been with BIND since 2011. I have profited by BIND, not by money (which we don’t get paid), but by the satisfaction of helping other people with Brain Injuries. I am the Project Manager of Outreach and Advocacy Group. We go out and speak at Rehabs, Hospitals, Universities (Colleges), Support Groups, and Churches. We are also pairing people up with Mentors for the Survivor, and for the Caregivers.

So if you have any questions about your Brain Injury, or want to know more about BIND. Call, visit, or email us at 972-769-BIND (2463), 1408 Gables Court Suite 2 Plano, Texas 75075, www.thebind.org.

Thank you, Diana!

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Recently, BIND Member Taylor interviewed our volunteer Diana Diaz.  Diana visits the BIND program each week and offers wellness programming and health coaching.  She is also a member of the Auction & Happy Brain Hour committee for BIND and is busy collecting silent auction items for our event scheduled on October 15th.  We’re blessed to have Diana as a proud BIND volunteer!  Thank you!

Q: What 3 things would need on a deserted Island:

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Some kind of device on which to play the first six seasons of Sex In The City
  3. Camel-back carrier filled with water

Q: What’s your day job:

A: Speech language pathologist at Health South

Q: How did you get involved with BIND:

A: I had previously worked with Valerie, knew several Members, and I believe in BIND’s mission.

~Taylor