Those who know me and the depths of my recovery know that one of the things I struggle most with is feeling like I am unable to contribute to the world right now. My work as a physician assistant gave me a sense of purpose because I was able to help others when they needed it the most. It felt like I was doing good and contributing something positive to the world. Being unable to work in addition to losing my independence in other areas of my life due to this brain injury has left me feeling a bit lost because I want to continue to positively contribute to something greater.
I have decided to pledge my brain to the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank upon my death. This organization is the largest tissue repository in the world specifically focused on understanding the long-term effects, advancing the prevention and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Pledging my brain is a way for me to contribute to something greater and may be the most meaningful contribution I can make in my lifetime to help those ahead. The research conducted at the brain bank to aid in the TBI crisis, prevention and management of CTE is something I admire and feel very strongly about.
There have been more than 8,000 pledges thus far with a goal of 10,000 by the end of this year. There is a crucial need for more brain pledges especially women who are underrepresented. Female brain pledges are so important because we are more susceptible to concussions and recovery is often prolonged compared to males.
This is an incredible way to bring more knowledge to concussions and CTE. To learn more about brain injury in youths and CTE, go to this guide and resource here: Youth Concussions – What to Do if Your Child Has a Concussion.
The brain bank is also in need of healthy brains to serve as controls in research so this means you can contribute and be part of the solution even if you have not sustained a brain injury.
I highly encourage anyone, athletes or non-athletes, especially those who have suffered a TBI to pledge to bring awareness to this “invisible injury” and potentially be a part of a scientific breakthrough.
I left the game I love on terms that were not my own but hopefully with my contribution, I can leave it better and safer for generations to come.
This is my legacy pledge to being part of the solution.
Take the pledge here.