Newsletter – February 2012

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Newsletter   February 2012
We Share Our Love with Each Other at B.R.A.I.N.


Dear Friends,


When was the last time you received a Valentine from a friend?
For me it was when I was in elementary school in Pennsylvania. The Sisters of Mercy did not want children to be excluded so each child had to write their name on a card and it was placed in the decorated box. The excitement would build up as you never knew who was going to become your new friend or your sweet Valentine.


So at FBI, Friends of Brain Injury, group on Valentine’s Day, we did the same thing. Each person wrote their name on the inside of the card, and each person found a new friend the following week. How exciting to meet someone like yourself with a brain injury! We are attracted to others who are similar to ourselves. We don’t want to stand out in a crowd and we prefer to fly under the radar at times.


No one should live life alone. This has been my motto for FBI since its inception. But we sometimes forget that we are made to be around others.


The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.”


Join us at FBI and you will hear roars of laughter and conversation as we are developing our verbal skills while building our choir.



Angela Mandas, MA CCC

Speech Language Pathologist

F.B.I. Facilitator

Adjunct faculty at Chapman University


FBI Meeting Information:

TIME:  First three Tuesdays of the month, 2:30 – 5PM; Fourth Thursday of the month, 4:00 – 6:30PM

LOCATION:  1000 N. Studebaker Rd., Long Beach, CA 90815

(Inside the Worship Café of Cornerstone Church)

Save the Date Think Tank 2012

News in Brief




The journal, Annals of Neurology (2011) found that 1 in 3 of the 15- to 34-year-olds hospitalized for a stroke and over half of those ages 35 to 44 already have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.


The vast majority of strokes occur in older adults but a quarter of them strike people younger than 65 years.


For more information, click HERE to read the article from the OC Register.






People with diets high in several vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to have brain shrinkage and cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease than people with lower levels of those nutrients. In a study of 104 people (average age 87) with few risk factors for memory and thinking problems, those with higher levels of omega-3s and vitamins C, D, E, and Bs scored higher on memory and thinking tests, and were less likely to have brain shrinkage. Visit the American Academy of Neurology’s website to read on.


Quick Tips: What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion?


Symptoms of concussion usually fall into four categories:


Physical Emotional/
Difficulty thinking clearly Headache

Fuzzy or blurry vision

Irritability Sleeping more than usual
Feeling slowed down Nausea or vomiting
(early on)


Sadness Sleep less than usual
Difficulty concentrating Sensitivity to noise or light

Balance problems

More emotional Trouble falling asleep
Difficulty remembering new information Feeling tired, having no energy Nervousness or anxiety  


For more information, visit:


Friends of Brain Injury get fishy at the LB Aquarium of the Pacific

By Amanda Alexander (B.R.A.I.N. Volunteer)

On February 17th, B.R.A.I.N. took another great trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. The Friends of Brain Injury group joined the outdoor shark lagoon where we got to touch sharks and stingrays and we also got a view the larger shark tank at night! But the best part of the outing was visiting with our friends and being able to chat with everyone. Later in the night we took a stroll around the beautiful Long Beach Harbor which many of our survivors have not seen. We shared some laughs and all enjoyed each others’ company. Thank you to all the volunteers that helped with rides and for making the night a great success. Thank you to everyone who attended the event and contributed to such a wonderful night!

A Message from Our Founder

I am excited that Think Tank 2012 is right around the corner. The months fly by and it will be April 27 and 28 before we know it. We are thrilled to welcome back Todd Clements M.D. to speak to us as B.R.A.I.N.’s Medical Director. Throughout the year, Dr. Clements gives us insight and help to refer people where they need to go for help after their brain injury. We look forward to the time when Dr. Clements can be more available here in California to help us. We welcome neurosurgeon, David Levy M.D.from San Diego who is a skilled physician and an inspirational speaker. We are pleased to have Richard Adams M.D. from Long Beach speak as well at Think Tank this year. Many of our own B.R.A.I.N members hold Dr. Adams close to their hearts as he has been in this field for over 30 years.


We have extended the event to a two day conference and have over 15 sessions of informational and inspirational presentations by our illustrious cadre of experts. Some of our own survivors from FBI, Friends of Brain Injury will be speaking about their own experiences. We are pleased to welcome Suzie Strichard, Mike Boswith, and Kelly Levin who are all “family members” of B.R.A.I.N. and we look forward to hearing them tell their stories of survival and triumph. I am delighted that we have a military focus this year as we welcome Dr. Carole Roth from the Naval Hospital in San Diego as well as USMC Sergeant Major James Schickel Ret. It is a wonderful privilege to meet such highly skilled and caring persons who are closely involved with brain injury rehabilitation. The generous attitudes of our speakers is humbling and we honor all who are participating.


If you would like to attend this fabulous event, please visit our website at and register online or print out a registration form to mail in. You may also call our office at 714-625-7225 to obtain a registration form. It will be a weekend you will surely never forget. B.R.A.I.N. is always looking for ways to enlighten and encourage you. Here is our opportunity with this wonderful two-day event!


With you,


Sue Rueb




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