A car accident in 2011 changed those roles significantly.
Robin sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI); worse, it wasn’t diagnosed right away.
Faced with the challenges that came with an undiagnosed TBI, she struggled to find support, services and resources to help her move forward and manage her injury.
Robin found herself on a frustrating and exhausting physical, emotional and mental journey forward.
Robin’s road to becoming a superhero was formed in 2013, when she discovered one of the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) local brain injury support groups in Washington State. Through the group, she learned how to acknowledge and accept her brain injury.
For Robin, positivity and healing came in the form of other fellow superheroes in the brain injury community who shared some super-powered tools.
Together, both things helped her find new superpowers and rebuild her life.
Robin summed it up this way: “It’s pretty simple: when all the systems and services that are in place to help with brain injury failed, BEST was, and is, the only place where I found hope, recovery, friendship and family.”
Only three months after being in the support group, she became the support group co-facilitator. Robin also participated in BEST’s Identity and Moving On After Brain Injury program that provided a guided process to help create a plan for the future and gather more tools and strategies to carry out that plan.
“Moving On gave me hope,” says Robin. “In addition to the support group, I went to Our BEST Space, and that gave me a community, support, belonging and acceptance.”
Fast forward to today.
Robin has served as the Program Manager for BEST since 2015 and manages the BEST Superhero Shoppe in Our BEST Space, a fun superhero-themed store featuring superhero accessories, specialty gifts and much more.
Proceeds from the Superhero Shoppe benefit brain injury survivors and their families in Washington State.
Robin also remains the co-facilitator of the Edmonds Brain Injury Support Group and serves a BEST Support Group Coach.
She was also honored as a BEST Superhero of the Month in 2017.
Robin is one of BEST’s biggest supporters for Giving Tuesday. This year’s theme, Building Superheroes, resonates with her personally.
“If I can help others become a superhero to themselves, then I couldn’t be happier!”
Do you want join Robin and the rest of the superhero team and build superheroes, too?
Here’s your chance!
Join us on Giving Tuesday, the international day of giving back, Tuesday, November 27, 2018 and share your monetary gift with BEST (any amount helps). Our goal is noted below.
In the Puget Sound area? Join us on November 27, 2018 from 10 am to 4 pm at Our BEST Space and the Superhero Shoppe in University Place, WA, for a special celebration with light refreshments available. Donate at the Space and receive a special handcrafted, Building Superheroes, magnet courtesy of Heartfelt Tidbits of Creativity ((while supplies last).
Thank you for your support today and every day!
The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) is thrilled to share our latest BEST Superhero of the Month for October 2018!
Congratulations and best wishes to Nick Mehrmoosh! Nick is deeply involved in the brain injury community in creating education, awareness, resources tools and much more. Nick also serves as a BEST board director.
This dynamic and passionate leader has truly made an impact in Washington State.
Here’s what Nick’s nominator had to say about him.
Nick is a graduate student at Eastern Washington University. His studies are in psychology and his focus is brain injury. Nick is a support group facilitator and on the Board of Directors for TBISN. He worked with TBISN, educators, and professionals to create the 2017 TBI Panel Symposium intended to educated students, professionals, and relevant populations about vital topics concerning brain injury and disability, for the betterment of professional and public awareness and he’s repeated that performance for 2018. He uses his experience and education to help those with brain injury in the Spokane area.
Thank you, Nick, for all that you do for our community (and beyond)!
Know a special real-life superhero in the brain injury community? We’d love to hear about them. Click here to learn more and nominate someone today!
On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) will be participating in Giving Tuesday, the international day of giving back to organizations that make a difference.
Together, we will form a special superhero team and support fellow superheroes in the brain injury community in Washington State and provide them with the super-powered tools they need to live the BEST lives possible.
On Giving Tuesday, we’ll have the celebration and building activities conveniently online and in person at our community center, Our BEST Space and our super store, the Superhero Shoppe located inside the Space.
Can’t wait to get started? Grab your favorite tools noted in the infographics above and start today by clicking here. Interested in taking your superhero powers to the next level? Consider a BEST membership by clicking here.
In the meantime, we can’t wait to see you on Giving Tuesday, Tuesday November 27, 2018! All are welcome!
In the meantime, here’s a fun little slideshow for inspiration. Thank you, superheroes!
BEST Administrator, brain injury support group facilitator and coach, nutritional food consultant and brain injury survivor, Robin Spicuzza, knows this well: healthful eating has become a way of life and a passion for her, especially since her brain injury.
Learning about what to eat, was interesting and fairly easy. However, storing and preparing foods, was not so easy. Through trial and error, over the years Spicuzza found a system that works well for her to store and prepare healthy foods quickly, easily and efficiently. Whether Spicuzza is on the go or just wants good nutritious food fast, her techniques have helped her be at the ready.
“After my brain injury, I was on my own. And when it came to food, I got tired of throwing food out that didn’t turn out right or getting sick from the expired food I ate,” explains Spicuzza. “I also tried to read recipes. Some of them were very confusing to follow and the measurements would end up being off.”
“The good news is that I was eventually able to find a food storage system and healthy staple foods that really worked for me. I also realized that I needed to find recipes with just three or four ingredients maximum. With a little preparation, I was able to do that, too.”
Following are Spicuzza’s tips for keeping organized and cooking good foods fast and easily.
1. Dry-erase labels on all food containers: Spicuzza uses this system to label what the food is and food’s expiration date.
2. Keep a calendar: Spicuzza likes to keep a handy calendar nearby to record what food she’s purchased and when, as well as keeping a daily log of what she’s eaten each day.
3. Use freeze dried foods: Spicuzza is a big fan of freeze dried foods. Not only do they lock in the nutrition through the freeze-drying process, they have extended expiration dates, so they remain safe to use for a long period of time.
4. Make a food list(s): Make a list(s) of the healthy foods that are important to you and post them in a convenient place so that you can review as much as you need to. Here’s an example of list that Spicuzza keeps to the right.
1. Consider investing in a pressure cooker: A pressure cooker is a sealed pot, with a lot of steam inside, that builds up high pressure. This special cooker helps food cook faster. Spicuzza said this is a key tool for her at home. According to Spicuzza, a pressure cooker can make healthy soups from scratch in under 15 minutes. Frozen meats can be defrosted or beans can be prepared in mere minutes. Spicuzza often prepares her freeze-dried foods in the pressure cooker for a fast and easy meal.
2. Stir-fry: Stir fry cooking is another fast and healthy option that uses a small amount of ingredients and prepares quickly. Spicuzza likes pairing stir-fried vegetables and meats with brown rice for a fast and healthy meal.
More ideas: For those in the Puget Sound Washington region, Spicuzza coordinates Soup Group, a healthy and nutritious food activity at Our BEST Space in University Place, Washington on the third Wednesday of the month at 1 pm. This group activity focuses on healthy, quick, simple and low-cost meals that participants can make at home.
To learn more:
To learn more about healthy freeze-dried and emergency essential foods, click here to be connected with the Emergency Essentials Foods Facebook page. For more information on tasty and low-carb foods, click here.
All food and materials are included and there is no charge to attend.
Our address is 2607 Bridgeport Way W., Suite 1H, University Place, Washington, 98466. For directions, click here.
For dates and times for additional activities, please click here to see the activity calendar.
Our BEST Space is also now the home of our Superhero Shoppe! Learn all about the shoppe by clicking here.
2018 is a special year for BEST. We are celebrating our 10 year anniversary of building superheroes! Help us celebrate all year long at Our BEST Space. All are welcome!
Breaking News: The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) was just nominated for a 2018 WEGO Health Award for Best Team Performance for patient/community advocacy and support! We are so honored to serve and support the brain injury community (and beyond) and are grateful for this nomination.
Learn more about the awards by clicking, here.