We want to hear from YOU. How has Brain Injury affected YOUR life? We hope you will share YOUR story.

Joel's Story.

My life prior to Brain Injury was extremely busy. I was employed in healthcare for 15 years. I had been told by doctors and others that my blood pressure was too high (hypertension)! They told me I needed to lower it, but I denied my self-care. It got worse, but I didn't feel any different.  I had been laid off, then accepted a restaurant management position with even greater stress.

At this time, I was working 60+ hours per week. I was lacking sleep and nutrition, was unhealthy and was always nervous and terribly stressed. Needless to say, I was a recipient of an intraparenchymal bleed (Stroke). 65% of those who suffer this type of stroke die within 24 hours. I was in the fortunate 35% to survive with a good quality of life ahead, as long as I made many drastic changes.

Since my Stroke, my life has changed for the better.

  • I realize that rest and sleep periods are required!

  • I am being consistent about focusing on the most important beneficial factors of my life and how they work together.

  • Nutrition is important.

  • I keep myself at no to very low stress.

  • I exercise with slow rate reduction.

  • I surround myself with a healthy and positive environment and people.

  • I have learned to say, "no," if I am tired or just don't feel up to anything. 

As part of the changes in my life, I found the BIAWA with a web search engine. I also heard about them from others in the Brain Injury community while attending social functions sponsored by the Brain Injury Alliance. I currently volunteer 1-2 times a week at the office organizing and correlating information mailers and packets. The BIAWA is an awesome group of caring individuals that assist those who are challenged with Brain Injury to have a better quality of life.

This has been a humbling, yet positive experience for me. I am currently facilitating Brain Injury Support Groups at UW/Harborview Hospital and West Seattle's Alaska Junction. I reach out to others with Brain Injury and those that may be injured. I talk to children about simple protection from concussion with helmets. I'm helping others, as well as myself, go about socially, getting physical activity, meeting with family and friends and succeeding on this amazing journey!

Your story can make a difference.

Hearing from survivors and family members is an important part of BIAWA. We look forward to hearing from YOU.