Hope in Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness

Image from d'Oliveira & Associates

Image from d’Oliveira & Associates

In the Burlington County Times article “Cinnaminson girl shares story filled with joy and sadness, staff writer Todd McHale tells the story of an 11 year old girl who uses her network television appearance to spread awareness for traumatic brain injury, or TBI. 11 year old Lily Nichols had the opportunity to compete on the first ever children’s competition on Food Network’s popular show Chopped.  Nichols’ father fell off a ladder and has been dealing with the effects of a TBI. Shortly before the taping, Lily’s father passed away.

“She’s an amazing, amazing spirit,” her mother said. “It was really about her making her dad proud and bringing attention to his illness.”

Lily said her 45-year-old father was a special person.

“He made you feel calm and comforted and no matter what, he didn’t judge you,” Lily said.

“My dad is very close to my heart. And I wanted to make him proud by giving the world, like, a little experience of what he was like.”

Amy, left, and Jen in NYC

Amy, left, and Jen in NYC

This is a subject near and dear to my heart, as well as my business partner’s.  Jen and I met in NYC in June of 2006, and we initially bonded over a common love of music. That bond deepened through shared losses. In the article referenced above, Todd McHale mentions that “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers traumatic brain injury as a serious public health problem in the United States, contributing to 30 percent of all injury deaths. In 2010, 2.5 million traumatic brain injuries occurred, either as an isolated injury or along with other injuries.” Unfortunately, Jen and I have both been effected by that statistic in very personal ways.

Read more to hear our story. Have you or a loved one been impacted by TBI? Share your stories or leave a comment! Also feel free to share other charities that you support!

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