Brain Cells in Action

Brain Cells Connector Program Summary for Melissa Yu

By Khushbu Bhakta

Due to Melissa’s strong spirit and the positive energy she gives off, her sense-of-humor NEVER fails to shine! We’re always laughing and joking around. Before hanging out (just the two of us), I didn’t know exactly HOW self-sufficient she is. She asked me to park a little further away from the lunch cafe so she can “get her exercise” and practice walking. Melissa uses this neat technique with her walker any time she needs to step down from a curb. I mean, really self-sufficient…she closes her own door, pulls up her own chair, and even tries to walk a little faster so that a waiting car can pass by (so sweet). While I was planning where to eat, I never thought about certain foods that may cause an inconvenience to eat for Melissa (due to her paralysis). As we were eating, I noticed her food was falling when she picked up her burger and the burger sauce was dripping everywhere; I mean, mine was too (at one point, the sauce was in my hair!), but the difference between Melissa and me was that, I was using two hands to eat my burger and she was using her non-dominant hand, only one hand! In that moment, I was overwhelmed with this realization of the aftereffects of brain injuries and just how possible it is to regenerate and accommodate. So… I started using only one hand to finish off my burger. Our faces were smeared all over with that burger sauce, and yet we couldn’t help but to laugh at our burger-eating-messily selves!

Melissa and Khushbu

Melissa and Khushbu

Every single person behind this brilliant B.R.A.I.N organization is a godsend. I’ve been truly inspired by every survivor and his/her caregiver, especially after learning their story and witnessing how much of their positivity resonates when he/she is at B.R.A.I.N. When I see my family and friends, my hugs have become longer (and a little tighter), my gratitude for life and what and whom I’ve been blessed with has become larger, and my faith in God has become stronger. Thank you for being so welcoming. I only know one other place, other than B.R.A.I.N, where it’s okay to show a weaker side, a little vulnerability, and to be truly accepted and admired for who you are. B.R.AI.N definitely feels like home.

For more information about Brain Cells, click here.

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