Angela’s September 2014 Letter

Dear Friends,

After two months without seeing our friends, we kicked off Friends of Brain Injury (F.B.I.) on September 9th to a full house. The best way to describe the first night at F.B.I. was loud, hot (no air conditioning) and awesome! It was loud as we now have a state of the art sound system plus we packed close to 130 people into the multipurpose room! We were hot as it was probably 100 degrees out and we had many energized people hugging, high-fiving and moving about the room greeting others. It was awesome as we shared stories of the summer, became acquainted with first-timers and had so much to say to each other about the plans for expanding classes such as our new Book Club. Wow!

FBI Brings Friends Together!

FBI Brings Friends Together!

We see miracles everyday at B.R.A.I.N. Christina Juare is a stroke survivor that exemplifies a miracle in the month of September. You see, Christina has not swallowed anything except ice chips in the last ten years. She relies 100% on her feeding tube in her stomach. Her husband pours her tube feedings in the tube a few times a day. Christina never complains but wished that one day she could taste again and swallow something. Her day came last Friday when she was able to chew a Granny Smith apple and swallow the juice without choking or aspirating on it. Tori Cahill’s miracle happened when she spoke words after her tragic car accident 2 years ago. She gave a short presentation with her speech pathologist Libby Sorg (one of B.R.A.I.N.’s speech pathologists) about her long journey and was lifted up with a loud applause from the F.B.I. family.

Albert Chan

Albert Chan

Albert Chan, a professor of philosophy and a stroke survivor, also spoke at F.B.I. this month. He gave a college level presentation about his new philosophy of disability. He spoke eloquently and added humor into the presentation with audience participation and comedic remarks about his life. His family was in attendance and they were able to see the miracle of Albert’s ability to control the room with his speech and his presence.

We are grateful each week for those lives who are touched. We are blessed to have a team of professionals who give of themselves to make B.R.A.I.N. a success. Abby Shroka, one of our yoga instructors gave an informative talk on Sugar and its effects on our health. So, put down your donut and pick up an apple as you continue reading this newsletter. Our Occupational and Physical Therapists presented and demonstrated fall recovery with our survivors. The multipurpose room was quiet when Ron Walkington, Paul Tayne, and Steve Zaldivar were able to get on the floor and up in a chair safely with assist. Miracles. For all the naysayers who don’t believe in miracles, please join me on any given Tuesday night to see what transpires at F.B.I. You will become a believer for sure.

See you next month!


Angela Mandas, MA CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
FBI Group Facilitator

View more photos from F.B.I. HERE!

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