Bio: Maggie has been a caregiver/care partner for a disabled veteran with a TBI/PTSD for about eight years. She holds a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and was a counselor for the deaf and hard of hearing and an ASL instructor at Northern Illinois University for 15 years before relocating to Washington State. Maggie is passionate about caregiver issues and is an advocate for veterans and individuals with disabilities.
Maggie’s Thoughts on BEST: I always have viewed BEST as a lighthouse for individuals with brain injuries, their caregivers and family members. BEST gives us that beacon of hope in all they do by educating advocating and promoting awareness about brain injuries. Without BEST, we’d be lost! Anytime I need support, I know I can find it at BEST because their shining light is always on.
David A. Grant
Bio: David A. Grant is a freelance writer and the author of Metamorphosis, Surviving Brain Injury. In early 2013, he founded the Facebook page, TBI Hope & Inspiration. In its first year alone, the page has emerged as a vibrant and important online support platform for both people living with brain injury and their caregivers. David is also the publisher of TBI HOPE Magazine. (Note: in the photo attached, David is pictured with his wife, Sarah).
David’s Thoughts on BEST: Over the last several years, I have had the opportunity to work with many people within the brain injury support community. The BEST team is unlike most any other that I’ve been privileged to get to know. Across the board, every BEST member I’ve gotten to know has a passion to serve those within the TBI community. It is that passion that has transformed the local brain injury landscape into one that is vibrant, alive and life-changing to those who are part of it!
Bio: Jeff Hartson has been a TBI survivor since 2003 and he has been part of BEST since 2010. He currently facilitates the Tacoma Brain Injury Support Group at Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals with Disabilities (TACID) in Tacoma, WA and the Puyallup Brain Injury Support group at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, WA. Jeff is also involved in other community activities that involve traumatic brain injuries.
Jeff’s Thoughts on BEST: I feel that our involvement in the community and what we offer plays a big role in defining opportunities for survivors with brain injuries. There is a willingness of our group to be of a supportive agency to those in the community that have a brain injury.
Bio: Jim Kelly is a self-described, BEST Director-at-Large. His daughter is a paraplegic with a brain injury and lives at home with her parents. Jim’s educational background includes a master’s level in business and technology. Jim served for decades in the military and with various public safety communication agencies.
Jim’s Thoughts on BEST: It is important to my family and the community in that it provides hope and solutions that work to an under-served TBI group.
Mia Marcum-McCoy, M.A.
Bio: Mia is an author, inspirational speaker, philanthropist and a brain injury survivor since 2001. Proceeds from her book and other products purchased through PhenomenalBrainPower.com go to charities that benefit people living with brain injury to increase their quality of life through medical services, social activities and educational opportunities. When Mia isn’t writing or speaking, she enjoys her two adult children, gardening, road trips and home projects. Her blog is about living the long haul with brain injury at ReLifingPostBi.com.
Mia’s Thoughts on BEST: What I like best about BEST is their commitment and real life, hands-on help they provide to our community. They inspire, create hope and bring many out of the ashes, re-birthing them and supporting them into their new lives. They listen to, encourage and guide people to have new dreams and then support them while they step into that new dream. They help rebuild lives and that is priceless!