4 Different Stories - 4 Heroes with Brain Injury

Jul 26, 2013, 18:31 ET from The Brain Injury Association of Washington

Support the Walk, Run & Roll for Thought to prevent Brain Injuries

The #1 Cause of Death and Disability in our State

SEATTLE, July 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Join us July 28th at Magnuson Park, Shelter #2.  Registration begins at 8:00 a.m., with opening ceremonies at 9:00 and the Walk, Run and Roll for Thought beginning at 9:30. 

The Brain Injury Association of Washington (BIAWA), HeadStrong and Seattle BrainWorks are holding their third annual Walk, Run & Roll for Thought this Sunday at Magnuson Park.   This event raises funds to support individuals and families impacted by brain injury!  We'll be joined by over 300 supporters/survivors and family members with a special appearance by the Rat City Roller Girls.  Among the 300 are 4 individuals who truly represent the diversity of this issue that anytime, anyplace, anywhere your life could change in an instant.  Their journeys of recovery and celebration of life and accomplishments are a testimony to "breaking the silence" of this "silent epidemic".

Kathi Sturgeon whose was involved in a life threatening car crash 5 years ago while living and training for the STP in California.  She moved to Seattle two years ago and finally completed that race just this month after 5 years of tough recovery and determination.

Yonas Seifu, is a young man originally from Ethiopia who 7 years ago was critically injured when someone walked or drove by a house in Lake City and fired a single gunshot through a window early on April 23, 2006. The bullet penetrated a wall and struck Seifu.  An engineering graduate at that time, he is reminded every day in how he looks, talks and walks, but that did not stop him from pursuing a new goal and this fall he will enter U.W. Graduate MBA program.  "I feel like I still have a lot of knowledge to give out to the world." 

Teresa Polizzi suffered a near fatal accident in October, 2008 while driving back to Central Washington University, where she had just begun her Freshman year as a flute major.  Her car flipped, rolling 5 times, and skidded on its roof several hundred feet. Luckily she was wearing her seatbelt and no substances or texting were involved.  A Good Samaritan heroically dug the dirt away from her mouth and nose, allowing her to breathe, until aid arrived. She was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in a coma and on a ventilator.  Teresa runs the event, because once she could walk her dad measured how many laps in the ward was a mile.  That's how she started in a gait belt and with dad's help.  She's now run a marathon.  Teresa also continued her studies, graduated from college and this fall to pursue her dream of giving back to the brain injury community is entering the U.W. Graduate program in Occupational Therapy.  Her journey is about giving back.

Zack Lystedt is now a name familiar to many.  The young football player from Tahoma, Washington suffered a debilitating second impact concussion which led to the passage of the Zackery Lystedt Law in this state.  This law led to a paradigm shift in this country on how we both diagnose and treat concussion at every level, including the NFL.  All of this began with the grassroots effort of the Lystedt Family, the Brain Injury Association of Washington and many other partners.

According to Deborah Crawley, Executive Director of BIAWA, "These 4 individuals are as diverse as you can imagine, but they are all affected by the number one cause of death and disability, brain injuries.  Per 100,000 people, over 500 are affected by a brain injury, compared to less than that for all cancers combined.  They are also a testament to their own strength and that of their families, caregivers, medical providers and the larger brain injury community which is focused on breaking the "silent epidemic" of brain injuries.  We are " Many Journeys, With one voice – Breaking the silence."

Founded in 1983 and celebrating its 31st Anniversary, the Brain Injury Association of Washington (BIAWA) is dedicated to providing prevention and support services to all Washingtonians who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.  BIAWA is the voice for the hundreds of thousands who are affected in Washington state.   For more information about the Brain Injury Association of Washington call 877-98-BIAWA or the TBI Resource Center at 1-877-824-1766

Since 2006, HeadStrong has been dedicated to supporting young people with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and their families. We began as a support group for families whose children had been injured by TBI. We continue to grow each year to meet the need for support, education, and advocacy.

Seattle BrainWorks is a community-based day program that provides short- and long-term support to people who have experienced brain injury. The program is centered around the "clubhouse model," in which brain injury survivors carry out the work of running the clubhouse. In the course of completing the tasks members learn and practice living, working and socialization skills.

SOURCE The Brain Injury Association of Washington