How B.R.A.I.N. Has Changed Our Lives

By Cheri Cunningham

August of 2013…I was at my wit’s end, trying one more time on the computer. Reading page after page trying to find just a bit of hope. Then…there was one little line, the last one in tiny print I read B.R.A.I.N. and a number in Cypress! I immediately dialed the number and Jana answered my call and about a million questions. I was amazed and was more hopeful then I had been in years! She gave me a date for September’s F.B.I. Fall kickoff meeting, and I felt encouraged.

Cheri (center) at the Brain Angels Caregiver Class

My name is Cheri Cunningham. My son Eric Cunningham, who now is 27, was 7 when he was hit by a van and sustained a TBI. For the last 23 years of his life I have been searching for new ways to better his situation. If you are familiar with TBI you know that the designation oftentimes falls through the cracks of the social system and health care system. I was sent to many meetings that never helped because Eric didn’t fit those problems. It seemed like I was always fighting to get him real help. I was tired…tired of no help, tired of no answers, tired of doing it all alone.

September 2013…I have walked into many buildings in my time, yet I have never felt love when I’ve walked into one until that night. Who knew that one call would change our lives forever? B.R.A.I.N. is a place filled with more love, possibility, joy and acceptance than I have ever seen in one place. As we walked in Eric was shaking hands with his peers! Eric never truly had peers before. The next 2 hours flew by…when we left that night my head was swirling. Eric had a huge grin on his face. I had phone numbers of people that wanted to help. I was signed up for a caregivers class. Eric was signed up up for a brain injury survivors class, and little did I know that I had just made some wonderful friends for life that night!

March 2015…Since that night we have spent many hours there…it still is a refuge of peace. Eric and I have learned so much from B.R.A.I.N., and we are constantly learning new strategies to strengthen our brains and lives. It is a great place to be goofy and have fun…sing even if you can’t and play fun games with your friends. B.R.A.I.N. has given us a fuller and happier life. Nowhere else can we go that Eric goes one way and I another…it is a safe and loving place to be.


Eric sharing at an FBI meeting

Eric loves really having friends. I’m so grateful for the shoulders I have cried on…the laughing that I had kind of forgotten how to do. But most of all, I am grateful for the support, support, support. B.R.A.I.N. has given us the tools to stay independent and that is the greatest gift of all!