Even better: when we are flying together BEST superheroes, anything is possible!
The 2020 Washington State Brain Injury Conference will be held on April 15, 2020 from 3 pm to 7 pm and April 16, 2020 from 9 am to 4 pm at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington.
Here is the save the date flyer with information, schedules, costs and more:
A limited number of scholarships for the conference will be available for individuals with brain injury and unpaid caregivers of individuals with brain injury.
Click HERE to apply for a scholarship (Note: you must scroll to the bottom to see the application form link to download).
Scholarship applications are DUE NO LATER THAN MARCH 1, 2020. Please follow the instructions on the form. Here’s what the form looks like:
(Editor’s note: What’s the definition of community? Writer and stroke survivor, Isaac Peterson, has an excellent, must-read definition of our community in his latest article. KT)
So, what is the TBI community? I know what community means but the idea of the word doesn’t really sum up the group of people of which I am now a part. The online dictionaries I’ve looked at have quite a few definitions, some of which apply to the TBI community, and others not so much.
It can get quite involved, so I guess I’ll just lay out here my ideas about what the TBI community is about. But one thing is for sure: the TBI community has too many qualities to be summarized by a dictionary definition.
The TBI community isn’t a place or a geographic location. We are everywhere. We live in every country in the world, in every region where there are people. We are from all walks of life, from every religion, faith, race, ethnicity, economic status. We are men and women, boys and girls. We are husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and friends; you name it.
We have no centralized authority, like in a government or a corporation. We are pretty much leaderless; we have spokespeople and advocates, one of which I am proud and privileged to be. There is no head of the TBI community or organization issuing marching orders and there is no hierarchy. Everyone with a TBI is an equal part of the community. Each of us can be leaders in our own way, depending on our own individual desires and capabilities, and we are all leaders and spokespeople at different times. We have many groups and subgroups, which are unfunded or underfunded.
But we exist and persist, because the alternative is unacceptable. We can reach out and provide comfort and strength, and in return be comforted and strengthened. We are largely in loose, informal networks, that, with the aid of the internet, allows our community to be international in scope.
The community includes people without traumatic brain injuries, too: caregivers, family members, friends. Anyone who helps a TBI survivor cope is part of the community.
There are meetings, large and small, formal and informal. There are local support groups and large gatherings, like the recent two-day Washington State conference which I attended. And there are a surprising number of agencies and organizations reaching out and touching the lives of people living with traumatic brain injury.
There are no membership rolls or dues. No one chooses to be part of the TBI community; we were brought together by an accident of fate.
We are not seeking power. But we are seeking understanding, acceptance, autonomy and independence on our own individual terms. We help each other gain and maintain our dignity in a world that largely does not and cannot understand. There are no dogmas or manifestos; our only agenda is to live full, normal lives and fully realize our true potential.
We are joined together in a common cause and bound together by faith, united by hope for the future.
My personal experience in the community is that it’s very warm and welcoming. It’s been a group that encourages members to share their thoughts, hopes, fears, their challenges and triumphs, all without fear of being laughed at or marginalized. The sense of kinship and unconditional acceptance has been strong, and the feeling of strength and empowerment has been a lifesaver for me.
Here is a place where I feel confident baring my soul to like-minded people, all with a common purpose and shared hopes and dreams.
It has been a source of inspiration and support. The TBI community has helped me feel much less alone in the world and confident of my place in it.
I know I am not the only one who feels that way.
We are many and we are everywhere.
Isaac Peterson grew up on an Air Force base near Cheyenne, Wyoming. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, he embarked on a career as an award-winning investigative journalist and as a semi-professional musician in the Twin Cities, the place he called home on and off for 35 years. He also doesn’t mind it at all if someone offers to pick up his restaurant tab. Peterson also welcomes reader comments. Email him at email@example.com.
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!
The HeadStrong Mentor Training Program is designed to train professionals, family members, caregivers, tutors, and anyone living or working with people who live with brain injury. Mentoring is a traditional way societies pass on knowledge by working side by side and setting a positive example. This training will help you reach your potential to be an empowering support person.
In Conflict Resolution we explore a critical topic in the Mentor Training. We start with skills to create options for ourselves and others to choose successful behaviors, thereby reducing conflict. We do exercises with self-monitoring and self-calming and learn a variety of communication tools that build trust during conflict resolution. When used consistently, these tools help us and others develop successful habits in times of conflict. We provide training materials and handouts to use in your work or home setting.
Click HERE to register and learn more and to register.
Marlene’s Natural Foods Market and Deli is playing host to their annual holiday open house at BOTH store locations (Tacoma and Federal Way) THIS Saturday! This terrific event will not only get you in the healthy and happy holiday spirit, it will surely give you some pre-holiday inspiration. Check out the details, HERE.
Oh what a night!
The first annual BEST Frightfully Delightful Dinner and Dessert Fundraising Auction was held on October 26, 2013 at Joeseppi’s Ristorante in Tacoma. Auction patrons came from near and far, some even decked out in costumes and spiffy Halloween duds, to feast on delicious Italian cuisine, bid on yummy desserts and other fabulous items in the silent auction, partake in the lively drawings for raffle prizes and door prizes and participate in the spirited costume contest and impromptu Halloween costume parade/mini-dance off!
Thanks to the team at Stichin’ It Up!, the auction banquet room was festively decorated in the spirit of the season: cute and delightful ghosts atop beautifully crafted cloth place mats adorned with ghosts and pumpkins and googly eyed spiders surrounded by gobs of fun-sized Halloween candy treats which were enjoyed by all.
The silent auction, held in Joesepppi’s roomy deli area, gave bidders a great opportunity to peruse mouth-watering and positively artistic desserts, generously appointed gift baskets, gift certificates for terrific goods and services, and so much more.
Joesepppi’s restaurant owner,philanthropist and Tacoma icon, Joe Stortini, addressed the crowd with a warm Italian-style welcome and spirited speech on having a positive attitude and perseverance.
BEST Executive Director, Gloria Kraegel thanked auction participants for their attendance and participation.
BEST Program Director Penny Condoll updated the audience on the current BEST program offerings and expressed gratitude to her fellow teammates and board members for all their hard work and dedication to the mission and vision of BEST. BEST Training Coordinator Janet Novinger, Stitchin’ It Up! Coordinator Karen Shepard, and Outreach Support Coordinator Paul Bishop echoed Gloria and Penny’s words, and expressed their eagerness to continue on with the good works of the organization.
BEST Board President Tawnya Padilla and BEST Board Vice President Maggie DePuye-Phillips, along with Gloria Kraegel and Kim Thompson, served on the auction event committee. The auction team was delighted by the turnout and really enjoyed visiting with patrons. They expressed their personal thanks to those who supported the auction’s vision, planning, and execution.
Special thanks to Joe Stortini and his team at Joeseppi’s for their extraordinary service and warm hospitality, to all of the all wonderful event sponsors and other donors for their generosity and support, and finally, to all the family, friends, and supporters of BEST who made this evening possible with their generosity, encouragement, love and support.
To get a photo recap of the evening’s events, please visit our Facebook page here at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brain-Energy-Support-Team/165908016753065. In fact, “like” us on Facebook (and Twitter too!) to keep up on all the latest updates, information, and special events that BEST has to offer.
Wow! We’re the featured story on The Ranger’s website; northwestmilitary.com. Check out the article at https://bit.ly/109iY76.
Did you know that 30% of soldiers admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center have been diagnosed as having had a TBI? Did you also know that Veterans’ advocates believe that between 10 and 20% of Iraq veterans, or 150,000 and 300,000 service members have some level of TBI? And according to the CDC blasts are a leading cause of TBI for active duty military personnel in war zones.
We help our veterans returning home from conflicts abroad and transitioning back into civilian life increase their chances for success through support, mentoring, and classes. Recommend us. Be sure to support us (click the Donate Now button … over there… on the right of this page).
Thank you again to The Ranger and Kim Thompson for such a wonderful opportunity to share our message with Veterans and the community.