Happy Brain Gala & Auction

Saturday, October 21, 2017 Plano Marriott at The Shops at Legacy 5:00 pm

Allen Americans Hockey – plays for BIND!

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Join us Friday, February 2 when the doors open at 6:05 pm for Allen Americans vs. Colorado Eagles.  Tickets are only $19 each and $2 of each seat purchased through this link will be donated to BIND.  Thank you to the Allen Americans for this generous, fun opportunity!

Please note: if you need disability-friendly seating, please add that in comments when purchasing your ticket.

Go to this website for everything else you need to know: http://allenamericans.com/bind/

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


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


  • 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

Veteran’s Day Deals & Discounts

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In honor of our Veterans, the Outreach & Advocacy Unit at BIND compiled a list of our area’s best deals and discounts.  Enjoy!

Nov. 7th- 11th Texas de Brazil 50% off of Dinner + 1, rest of Table receives 20% off.
Nov. 7th- 11th IKEA Free Entrée’
Nov. 9th-11th Red Hot & Blue Free Entrée with the purchase of a second entrée
Nov. 10th-11th Bed, Bath, & Beyond 25% off entrée purchase
Nov. 10th-11th World Market 25% off entire purchase in stores
Nov. 10th-11th BJ’s Resturant & Brewhouse Complimentary entrée up to $12.95
Nov. 10th-11th Red Lobster Free Appetizer or Dessert from a limited menu
Nov. 11th Carmike Cinemas Free small Popcorn w/ ticket purchase
Nov. 11th Main Event Bowl for Free from open to 3pm.
Nov. 11th Great Clips Free Haircut or Haircut Card good until Dec. 31st.
Nov. 11th Sport Clips Free Haircut
Nov. 11th Dollar General 11% discount on Qualified purchases
Nov. 11th Meineke Free Oil Change
Nov. 11th Tractor Supply 15% discount on in store purchases
Nov. 11th Applebee’s Free Meal from a limited menu
Nov. 11th CiCi’s Pizza Free Pizza Buffet
Nov. 11th Cotton Patch Café Free Chicken Fried Steak or Chicken Fried Chicken
Nov. 11th Boston Market Free Brownie or Cookie
Nov. 11th Buffalo Wild Wings One small order of wings and side of fries
Nov. 11th California Pizza Kitchen Complimentary entrée from special menu
Nov. 11th Cantina Laredo Complimentary meal up to $15
Nov. 11th On the Border Free combo meal
Nov. 11th Texas Roadhouse Free Lunch from 11-2
Nov.11th Cattlemen’s Complimentary 8oz. Sirlon Steak Dinner
Nov. 11th Chili’s Free Meal from a limited menu
Nov. 11th Chipotle BOGO deal from 3-Close
Nov. 11th Chuck E. Cheese Free Individual 1 topping pizza
Nov. 11th Cracker Barrel Complimentary Slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca Cola Cake
Nov. 11th Denny’s Free Build Your Own Grand Slam from 5-12
Nov. 11th Dickey’s BBQ Free Meal and a Big Yellow Cup
Nov. 11th El Fenix Free Meal from a select menu
Nov. 11th Furr’s Buffet Free Buffet and drink
Nov. 11th Hooter’s Free Meal from Select menu
Nov. 11th IHOP Free Red, White, & Blue pancakes from 7-7
Nov. 11th Johnny Carino’s Free Meal
Nov. 11th Krispy Kreme Free Doughnut and Small coffee
Nov. 11th Little Caesars Pizza Free $5 Lunch combo from 11-2
Nov. 11th Olive Garden Free Entrée from Special Menu
Nov. 11th Quaker Steak & Lube Complimentary or discounted Meal of their choice
Nov. 11th Red Robin Free Red’s Tavern Double Burger w/ Bottomless Steak Fries
Nov. 11th Rock & Brews Complimentary Pulled Pork Sandwich
Nov. 11th Ruby Tuesday Free Appetizer
Nov. 11th Snuffer’s Resturant & Bar Free Burger
Nov. 11th Starbucks Vets and Spouces get a Free Tall Coffee
Nov. 11th TGI Friday Free Lunch from 11-2
Nov. 11th Twin Peaks Free Menu item from their Annual Veteran’s Day Apprecication Menu
Nov. 11th World of Beer Free Select Draught Beer
Nov. 11th Outback Steakhouse Free Bloomin Onion and Beverage
Nov. 11th-13th Spaghetti Warehouse Buy One Entrée and Get the Second Entrée Free
Nov. 11th-13th Firestone Complete Auto Care Additional 10% off the Lowest Ad Price
Nov. 12th- Dec. 31 Outback Steakhouse 15% off their Meals
Nov. 13th Golden Coral Free Dinner from 5-9


Getting to know Alex

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Please allow us to introduce the newest BIND employee, Alex Barna!  We had a few minutes (or perhaps an hour or so) to interview Alex and learn more about her.  Thanks for joining our team as a Unit Coordinator – we’re thrilled to have you here.

Q: How would your friends describe you in 3 words?

  • Compassionate
  • Crazy
  • Funny

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

  • Beware of Tangents

Q: Favorite band?

  • City Color

Q: Favorite songs to listen to while:

  • Road trip = Ophelia
  • Cleaning House = Zen Music or You tube
  • Workout = Elton John

Q: Where did you go to school?

  • Stephen F Austin and UNT

Q: Where did you grow up?

  • Riverside, California

Q: Do you have any siblings?

  • 7 brothers and 1 sister

Q: Are you married?

  • I would like to be someday

Q: Children?

  • Not yet

Q: Pets?

  • 3 dogs and bees

Q: Where have you worked?

  • ABA Therapist
  • JC Penny Worker’s Compensation Adjuster

Q: What was your favorite thing about your last job?

  • The kids, they made going to work every morning worthwhile.

Q: What’s your favorite quote?

“The difference between a successful person and others is not the lack of strength, not the lack of knowledge, but rather the lack of will.” Vince Lombardi

~Interview by Karl

Coping With Aphasia: A Survivor’s Perspective

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The word “Aphasia” was introduced in my vocabulary as a Physical Therapy student at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1992. During my clinical experience taking care of and treating a vast number of patients with neurological conditions (cerebrovascular accidents commonly named “strokes”, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury), I found more insight 3 years ago transitioning from clinician to patient. On May 13, 2014, I had an ischemic stroke with right sided hemi paresis, motor apraxia and aphasia.

Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Aphasia is always due to a brain injury from a stroke, head trauma, brain tumors or infections. It’s more common in older adults, particularly those who have had a stroke.

Aphasia can be mild or severe dependent on the severity of the damage to language areas of the brain. People who have aphasia may affect the ability to retrieve names of objects, putting words together into sentences, reading, understanding words, finding the “right” words to complete their thoughts. They may also have problems with auditory comprehension (conversation, words or numbers), understanding written words or numbers and writing. More commonly, however, individuals with aphasia can have multiple aspects communication impairments. Unfortunately, I had all aforementioned speech deficits initially after my stroke and still have aphasia problems especially when I’m tired or emotional.

I had inpatient therapy at Baylor Rehabilitation of Dallas for one week and outpatient at Pate Rehab in Anna, TX. I participated in speech therapy 6 hours per day and 5 times per week for 8 months. My speech therapist, Anne, administered several assessments to determine the type of aphasia that affected me.

There are various types of aphasia and I have two of them: Expressive Aphasia & Anomic Aphasia

Other common types of aphasia are:

  1. Broca’s (Expressive) aphasia (non-fluent) – the person knows what he or she wants to say but has difficulty communicating it to others.
  2. Anomic aphasia – the person has word finding difficulties or struggles to find the right words to speak and write.
  3. Wernicke’s (Receptive) aphasia (fluent) – the person can hear others or read words, but may not understand the meaning of the message.
  4. Global aphasia– the person has difficulty speaking and understanding the meaning of the words. The person is unable to read or write. This is the most severe type of aphasia.
  5. Primary progressive aphasia – this type is rare where people slowly lose the ability to talk, read, write and comprehend what they hear in conversations over a period of time.

Coping with aphasia can be difficult and frustrating for many, but you must have strength to overcome. Having aphasia is a loss and grieving is key to heal mentally and spiritually during your recovery. It’s a battle to accept your impairments, to accept others & especially family to deal with your “new normal” and move forward in your life despite aphasia. Feelings of frustration, guilt and embarrassment at the inability to communicate can lead to anger, depression and avoidance of others. I stopped meeting girlfriends for lunch or other social events initially because I was embarrassed and felt I would not be involved in the conversation because my speech was not fluent. Hence, the barrier was me, not my friends.

People with aphasia may tire easily and show extreme emotional fluctuations particularly early in the recovery process. In fact, sometimes it overwhelms me to where I’m still mentally and physically exhausted. It is a lot of energy to find, write or correct words from sounds or sentences, read and speak your own name and phone number. Like writing this blog!

Family members may also feel strong emotions including anxiety, anger, confusion, depression and despair. A good support system of family and friends are important. As a person with aphasia, I understand family members may feel a sense of loss too, but practice patience. It is normal to go through a grieving process when the one you love develops aphasia. Support groups are valuable to help through this recovery and afterwards too!

If you have a loved one with aphasia, embrace them every day, allow them to keep their personality, laugh, cry and pray for them! Believe! Faith! Love!

~Celeste Larkins


We’re Hiring!

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BIND has an immediate opening for a Program Director and a Unit Coordinator.  To apply, send a cover letter with your resume by email to info@thebind.org or by fax to 972-769-2464.

Job Descriptions can be found here: Program Director, Unit Coordinator

Have you heard the BIG news? 

The Moody Foundation has awarded us with a lead gift to support capacity growth.  We’re thrilled to partner with them to ensure that brain injury survivors in the Dallas area can join our program.  Because of their support, we’ll be able to do even more to fuel hope, restore purpose and connect survivors to the community.

Stroke: The More You Know

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Stroke Awareness Facts 

(From The National Stroke Association)

May is National Stroke Awareness Month when the National Stroke Association is turning its attention to the alarming number of strokes in young Americans. Over the last decade, there has been a spike of 44% in the number of young Americans (under 45 years) hospitalized due to stroke. This animated video, “Young Stroke: An Unexpected Reality,” focuses on the unique challenges faced by young stroke survivors and offers a wide range of resources to support stroke survivors in their recovery journeys.

There are two main types of stroke — ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke is more common and occurs when blood flow to a part or parts of the brain is stopped by a blockage in a vessel. Hemorrhagic stroke is more deadly and occurs when a weakened vessel tears or ruptures, diverting blood flow from its normal course and instead leaking or spilling it into or around the brain itself.

  • Hemorrhagic (bleed) stroke accounts for about 13 percent of stroke cases.
  • Ischemic (clot) stroke accounts for about 87 percent of all cases.Where does the data lead after someone has a stroke? 
    * 10% of stroke survivors recover almost completely
    * 25% recover with minor impairments
    * 40% experience moderate to severe impairments requiring special care
    * 10% require care within either a skilled-care or other long-term care facility
    * 15% die shortly after the stroke



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“Here’s a Shout Out! to all the volunteers that give their time and especially those that bring special crafts or spend extra time helping get things prepared for events. You’re awesome!”
~ David

“For ALL our Volunteers, Board Members, Sponsors, and Mrs. Valerie, I want to say THANK YOU ALL for your time, your interest, and money that y’all have invested into BIND. If it wasn’t for Valerie’s vision of BIND, we wouldn’t be where we are now. I know BIND has changed my life in many ways. I get up every morning looking forward in going to BIND. I LOVE helping other people.
~ The thoughts and feelings of Kevin McIntyre (COWBOY).

“All Volunteers and Sponsors: Thank you for all that you do. You are Angels! I appreciate your time, effort, kind heart and good attitude. You are a blessing to all BIND members! God bless you.”
~ Sincerely,  Mark

“Thank you to all of our Volunteers. The countless hours you put into support BIND IS AMAZING, Okay maybe not countless, because I add them up monthly. Your support does not go unnoticed as it is felt with every goal we accomplish as a team.”
~ Carrie

“I’m so happy with our volunteers for taking their time to bring happiness, laughter and proper knowledge. Not to mention how much they help members be active.”
~ Yvette



Explore the WOW!

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BIND was pleased to host 2 student interns from the World of Work program at UTD’s Career Center.  Clearly a reflection of their dedication to learning, Aamna and Arjun elected to spend their Spring Break with our organization instead of taking a vacation.  Here’s what they shared about us after their experience:

“I wanted to let you know I had a wonderful time at BIND, and wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to see what great work BIND is doing.  I’m very grateful that you took time out of your busy schedule to accommodate us last week.

First of all, I would like to thank you and all the members for the lovely card. It was such a nice surprise and made my time spent at BIND more special. I would easily say getting to know the members and learning to play Rummikub will be something I’ll always look back on. Karl will be happy to hear that it has now become one of my favorite board games, as he was the one who first taught it to Arjun and I, on our first day.

Within those short three days, I became very easily acquainted with the members and the processes. Personally, for me, it was an eye-opening experience getting to know the members who went through some tough periods with their injuries, and after all that, they were reaching out to support others who have gone through the trauma of it all. The atmosphere at BIND was simply inspiring, and remarkable. It was interesting to see how the different setup was running so efficiently. It just proved that you don’t always need to follow the book, and sometimes make another path for yourself.

I would like to thank you again for allowing us to join you at BIND and letting us get involved in it. It was a wonderful opportunity, and I am glad I spent my spring break at BIND. Seeing how BIND is giving back to the community, I would love to come back again and volunteer if you would have me. I am eager to lend my hand.

My warm regards to all the members.”


“I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you and the BIND this past week. I really appreciate the time you took out of your day to show me this amazing side of brain trauma that I did not know existed.

What struck me most about the BIND and its members was how much everyone operated like a family. The friendly banter and teasing between members and the overall friendliness and openness really made me feel welcome within the group. I was able to learn about the difficulties that come with TBI’s and how the organization and fellowship meant something different, but equally as important, to each member. It truly was an eye opening experience.

Thank you again for this incredible experience. I would love to come back to the BIND as a volunteer. Please let me know if I can in any way be of help to you and the organization.”