Angela’s May 2015 Letter

Dear Friends,Angela_newsletter

What joy it is when we get together and celebrate stories of triumph: volunteers having babies, staff members getting married, survivors getting jobs, and building friendships along the way. The beautiful month of May was dedicated to Brain Rule #5: Short-Term Memory and Brain Rule #6: Long-Term Memory. It has been proven that the human brain has the capacity to hold on to only 7 digits or 30 seconds of information before it is forgotten. Gosh!

It is in episodic memory that we remember things through events. We remember that Amanda Frost, one of our long-time volunteers, had a baby boy as we saw pictures of him on Facebook. We know that Brandon, B.R.A.I.N.’s Wellness Coach, married his bride, Mandy as James Novinger threw a bridal shower for the happy couple. We remember that Albert Chan suffered a stroke while teaching a college class but has been accepted back to teach online from his home. Our college graduate of Coastline Community College’s ABI program, Thomas Ragone, is now working at Fresh and Easy.

A small feat to some folks, but to all of us at B.R.A.I.N., these are huge accomplishments! We all have plans for our life and these plans are called dreams. When an event occurs, we remember the event by the situation but not necessarily all the details. When someone has a traumatic brain injury, the events before and after the event are erased. When someone loses consciousness during a stroke, the moments before the event may also be lost, depending upon the vascular accident.

We should not focus on living in the past as the load of the past can be quite heavy for the present. We should move forward, making a difference in the world and hopefully making a memory for someone else. Chuck Swindoll talks about making deposits in children’s lives by providing them with fond memories. We may not have had the best childhood but we don’t have to live in the past. We can focus on the present and also live for something greater in life.

We were quite fortunate to have Lloyd Saposnek from Orange County One-Stop Center, speak to the F.B.I. community on May 5th. He presented fabulous resources on obtaining a job post injury. He, himself, had a spinal cord injury at age 18 and has attended college, taught at college and now teaches others resume writing skills. He is an excellent role model for those with disabilities in moving forward. Resume writing, completing applications, and interviewing tips can be obtained by checking out the OC One-Stop Center’s website at or by emailing

We approach the month of June with excitement as F.B.I. goes on hiatus for the months of July and August. We have planned a leadership retreat and a possible homecoming for one of our survivors. So, stop by soon. I look forward to meeting you and hearing about your plans for tomorrow.


Angela Mandas, MA CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
F.B.I. Group Facilitator