Over a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop, Peggy approached Miriam with the idea of creating a resource and support center for acquired brain injuries. Both moms have a child who suffered a brain injury, and both moms relied on each other for support. Miriam’s son experienced a severe hit to the head and neck in 2013 after a crash during a downhill skateboard race. His full face helmet did not protect his brain. Peggy’s daughter, Ariana, received a blow to the head and neck when a cheerleading teammate fell on her after slipping off Ariana’s shoulders (2016). Concussion resources were somewhat available, however, they did not quite address the multitude of treatment, care, and educational considerations geared towards adolescents with post-concussion syndrome.
Peggy and Miriam each have their individual yet very similar story in how they approached the care for their child. Sleepless nights filled with online searches for answers and helpful therapies, days occupied by pleas to doctors for help, unanswered questions, medications that didn’t work and homeopathic remedies that did, out of pocket costs, non-traditional therapies, … The list never ended.
The two moms leaned on each other by sharing and understanding their experiences and challenges. Peggy, Ariana, and Miriam created Beyond Concussion from a desire to help other patients and families who are affected by post-concussion syndrome and acquired brain injuries.
Beyond Concussion, a 501(c)3 organization, connects concussion and acquired brain injury patients with vital resources encompassing all aspects of the journey to healing. They hold monthly peer support group meetings where personal experiences, thoughts, and struggles are shared safely and confidently. They bring awareness to the serious effects of post-concussion syndrome. Their vision is to be a single point of contact for resources concerning concussion injuries.
Update January 2020
From the Beyond Concussion Newsletter
As the New Year begins, we reflect on Beyond Concussion’s current programs and goals, and on how we can improve our services and programs for 2020. Much thought goes into this process as we aim to consider the needs of the post-concussion community and its caregivers.
Drawing on our own personal experience as caregivers, and on the conversations we had this year with other caregivers, we recognize that many of us deal with the same issues. We run around making sure all is taken care of and often forget to take care of ourselves. Not good! Peggy and I feel so grateful for each other during each of our journeys as caregivers for our kids. Our connection was a way to include self-care without jeopardizing the needs of our loved one. This knowledge and experience each of us, and you the caregiver, gained can now be shared through our new program called “Caregiver Connection!”
The Beyond Concussion Caregiver Connection is a private list for post-concussion syndrome or brain injury caregivers. You simply sign up on our website and either ask for a mentor or offer to be a mentor to someone else. As this list grows, Beyond Concussion will connect a caregiver with a mentor, or vice versa. More information about the BC Caregiver Connection will soon be available on our website!
In addition to this new program for caregivers, we are also making changes to our support group meeting schedule. We will continue to hold our very popular Workshop on the second Thursday of each month. And we continue the last Tuesday of the month support group meeting. We connected with a wonderful psychologist who is excited about leading the group this year. We will introduce her soon!
We look forward to serving you all and believe 2020 will be a very special year!
May the New Year bless you with health, wealth, and happiness!
Ariana, Miriam, and Peggy.