WASHINGTON, March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
"I grew up around bikers and truckers and its 'men don't cry,' you know? I feel embarrassed, I feel like less of a man. I feel all those inadequacies and I'd leave the room and get away and hide." - Bobby Leech, suffering from PBA.
For most of his adult life, local Joplin resident Bobby Leech drove a truck. In an instant, his life changed. One day at work, a shifting pallet fell, and Bobby suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). He could no longer drive his truck. He went on disability. The bills mounted and he even had to sell his beloved Harley Davidson. On top of all that, he would start crying at odd moments, even when he wasn't sad. He learned that he'd developed symptoms of PBA. Over time, he withdrew, only spending time alone, or with his wife and son. "I've lost a lot of friends, I've lost family members, people don't want to talk to me no more, because they put limitations. They tell me in order for them to be part of my life I have to be like this and I'm like, well, I can't. So, ain't gonna happen. So I lose them," says Bobby.
"Beyond Laughter and Tears" is a film that chronicles the lives of six people dealing with PBA (Pseudobulbar Affect), a secondary condition prevalent among people who've suffered some sort of traumatic brain injury or stroke or certain other diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Symptoms of the condition include uncontrolled bouts of crying and/or laughing as well as inarticulate sounds and facial distortion.
"PBA is a socially isolating condition, even more so when it has not been properly diagnosed or treated. The Brain Injury Association of America is pleased to partner with Avanir and the PBA Film Project to bring 'Beyond Laughter and Tears' to the attention of policymakers in Washington, D.C.," said Susan Connors, Brain Injury Association of America President/Chief Executive Officer.
Former TODAY SHOW health and fitness correspondent, Jenna Wolfe will interview Bobby after the screening.
Event will be held on March 15, 2016 at Union Station, Washington, DC.
Cocktail reception at 6:00pm.
Screening at 7:00pm.
SOURCE Brain Injury Association of America; Avanir