The Masquerade Gala

The 2018 Masquerade Gala * Thank you for raising $66,000 for BIND

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

Traumatic Brain Injury: Know the Facts

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Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month

Written By: Augusta O.

September is national awareness month for traumatic brain injuries and I felt absolutely compelled to take on this topic for a number of personal reasons, but one of the most pressing I felt was that it’s somewhat misunderstood. The fact that a person suffering with a traumatic brain injury typically looks just like any other healthy individual, the scope of its affects seem to go unaddressed in some instances. It was very sobering learning many of the statistics of TBI, but also vindicating in confirming many symptoms that I already knew to be true in my life.

With that being said, let’s jump right into it…

What is it?

A traumatic brain injury, commonly known as a TBI, is the result of a blow, bump, jolt, or other head injury that causes damage to the brain.

What are the effects?

Traumatic brain injuries are commonly classified in order of severity as mild or severe.

Mild: A brain injury typically is classified as mild if confusion, disorientation, or loss of consciousness is less than 30 minutes.

Common symptoms:

  • Migraine Headaches
  • Difficulty thinking (often referred to as “fogginess” or “haziness”)
  • Memory problems
  • Decreased Attention
  • Moodiness
  • Frustration

Severe: A severe brain injury is commonly associated with loss of consciousness greater than 30 minutes and/ or a penetrating cranial injury lasting greater than a 24 hour period.

Common symptoms:

  • Loss of cognitive function ranging from high level cognitive function to a comatose state
  • Limited upper and lower extremity function
  • Abnormal speech
  • Severe communication skill deficits

By the numbers

  • Deaths resulting from a traumatic brain injury annually: 50,000
  • Hospitalizations: 235,000
  • Emergency room visits: 1.1 million
  • Americans that experience traumatic brain injury annually: 1.4 million
  • Americans currently living with traumatic brain injury: 5.3 million

Major causes by percentage

Falls – 28%

Motor vehicle accidents – 20%

Struck by or against an object – 19%

Violence – 11%

Severity of injury

Approximately 75% of traumatic brain injuries seen in the emergency departments are mild cases.

Annually 70,000 people who have a traumatic brain injury experience permanent damage.

Lifetime costs

For the year 2,000, it was estimated that medical cost and loss of wages due to a traumatic brain injury surpassed $60 billion in the United States.

Conclusion

Although these statistics paint a pretty bleak picture, no mathematics of a disability can ever account for the motivation provided by a devoted spouse, or the outpouring of support from a loving community. I know firsthand the hopelessness, and overwhelming feelings of pain and haze that accompany being a TBI survivor. I too also know the encouragement that is waiting for you in your own personal world, once you make it through the fog.

Sources:

  • www.brainandspinalcord.org
  • www.traumaticbraininjury.com

North Texas Giving Day 2018

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Wait. What do you MEME? North Texas Giving Day is less than 30 days away!!! Check out our Giving Day page and set your calendar now for September 20. Early giving opens on September 10!

Thank you for the recent feature, My Sweet Charity!

North Texas Giving Day FAQs
  • What is it? 
    • Powered by the Communities Foundation of Texas, North Texas Giving Day is an 18-hour online giving event designed to empower every person to give back to their community by supporting local nonprofits and causes they care about in one easy-to-use platform.
  • How long has it been around?
    • 2018 is the 10th year of North Texas Giving Day! In 9 years, $195 MILLION has been raised for nonprofit organizations in North Texas. It is the largest single day of giving in the United States.
  • What is the Giving Day goal for BIND this year? 
    • With your help, we will raise $20,000 in critical operating funds for our program.  In 2017, BIND donors raised over $13,000 in a single day of giving!
  • Will a small gift make a big impact? 
    • YES! If every social media follower of ours makes a $25 donation on Giving Day, we will raise $50,000! Plus, North Texas Giving Day brings the opportunity for matching gifts, prizes and bonus funds from Communities Foundation of Texas and special donor groups.
  • When can I donate?
    • Early giving opens on September 10 and continues through the BIG DAY on September 20. Gifts made early will be loaded onto the BIND Giving Day Page first thing on September 20.

Registration Open for Warrior Brain Training

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We’re pleased to announce that Warrior Brain Training is coming to Plano in August & October!  Through a collaborative effort between BIND, The Center for Brain Health and the Plano Public Library, this interactive brain performance training will be provided free of charge to Veterans and Active Duty Military Service Members.

UPDATE: The August Warrior Brain Training event is FULL.  Registration is currently open for Veterans, Active Duty Military Service Members AND their caregivers for the October 10/11 session.  

Register today – space is limited:

Click Here To Register

 

Brain Tumor Awareness

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May is also Brain Tumor Awareness Month

By Jenny

Along with stroke awareness month, May is also Brain tumor awareness month. Although most people have heard of Brain tumors, few know how widespread this incurable disease is. According to the National brain tumor society:

  • An estimated 700,000 Americans are living with a brain tumor
    • 80% tumors are benign
    • 20% tumors are malignant
  • An estimated 78,980 people will receive primary brain tumor diagnoses in 2018
    • 55,1500 will be benign
    • 23,830 will be malignant
  • The average survival rate for all malignant brain tumor patients is only 34.7%
    • Male: 33.8%
    • Female:4%
    • For the most common form of primary malignant brain tumors, glioblastoma multiforme, the five-year relative survival rate is only 5.5%
  • An estimated 16,616 people will die from malignant brain tumors (brain cancer) in 2018
  • The most prevalent brain tumor types in adults:
    • Meningiomas, which make-up 36.6% of all primary brain tumors

Gliomas (such as glioblastoma, ependymomas, astrocytomas, and oligodendrogliomas), which make-up 74.6% of malignant brain tumors

Unfortunately, more than any other cancer, brain tumors can have lasting and life-altering physical, cognitive, and psychological impacts on a patient’s life.

This means malignant brain tumors can often be described as equal parts neurological disease and deadly cancer.

It has been my experience that saying your tumor is benign gives people the impression that it is curable and isn’t a very serious situation, however this is not the case. Even benign brain tumors can be deadly if they interfere with portions of the brain responsible for vital bodily functions. It is also pretty safe to say that brain surgery is seldom benign.

There are more than 130 different types of brain tumors, many with their own multitude of subtypes. The table below shows the types of tumors that a few of our members have been diagnosed with   :

 

Name Tumor type Age at diagnosis Initial symptoms
Jenny Oligodendroglioma 37 Seizure
Jeff Astrocytoma 20 Found while undergoing unrelated medical testing
Rick Central neurocytoma 35 Uncontrollable, severe headache

In my obviously biased opinion, research into this disease and possible cures is grossly underfunded and ineffective. Data collected by Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS) in CBTRUS Statistical Facts Report of Primary Brain and Other Central Nervous System Tumors Diagnosed in the United States in 2010 – 2014 suggest:

  • Despite the amount of brain tumors, and their devastating prognosis, there have only been four (4) FDA approved drugs – and one device – to treat brain tumors in the past 30 years.
    • For many tumor types, surgery and radiation remain the standard of care.
    • There has never been a drug developed and approved specifically for malignant pediatric brain tumors.
    • The four approved drugs for brain tumors have provided only incremental improvements to patient survival, and mortality rates remain little changed over the past 30 years.
  • Between 1998 and 2014, there were 78 investigational brain tumor drugs that entered the clinical trial evaluation process. 75 failed. That is a 25:1 failure ratio in developing new brain tumor treatments over the past two decades.

It is often difficult to talk about such a hard topic, but always remember statistics don’t paint the whole picture. Brain tumor warriors are usually the bravest, toughest fighters you will ever meet. This is why we should all “Go Gray in May” to spread the word and get a spotlight aimed at this disease so that we can give hope to and encourage those living with or affected by brain tumors. NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE!

~Jenny, BIND Member