Newsletter – January 2011

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January 2011 Volume 1
Dear Friends,
Happy New Year! It is mid January and I am already thinking about Spring Break! Time surely flies for us when we are busy working on exciting events. This New Year brings us closer to our goal of establishing a brain injury community with the expansion of our Social Communication Group called F.B.I., Friends of Brain Injury, the presentation of our second annual Think Tank symposium, and the numerous connections being made in the community to raise awareness for brain injury and prevention. This past year has yielded many more new friends of B.R.A.I.N. through our interactive website and through word of mouth.


The issue of brain injury has been in the forefront recently with the unfortunate Arizona shooting event on January 8th and the ever more present weekly concussions suffered by football players in the NFL. And if that is not enough, our soldiers are returning home with not only significant hearing loss and extremity loss, but also severe penetrating and non-penetrating brain injuries.
B.R.A.I.N. wants to give a voice to this growing community of people affected. We invite you to contact us at any time  We are here to help.

We invite you to stay updated on B.R.A.I.N. through the website here.



Thank you for your support in this fight,


Angela Mandas, MA CCC

Speech Language Pathologist



Friends of Brain Injury




This marvelous group of student volunteers, individuals with brain injuries, and members of our community continues to meet weekly. The location has changed slightly as we have outgrown the classrooms at CSULB and now are in the Worship Cafe at Cornerstone Church. We continue to welcome new volunteers and brain injury survivors to our group. The focus of F.B.I. is to enable survivors to communicate in a group setting, improve their memory skills and learn to live life with others in the community.


F.B.I. now meets on Thursday nights from 4:30-6:30 pm at Cornerstone Church, 1000 N. Studebaker Road, Long Beach, CA  90815


Everyone is welcome.
We are grateful for the volunteers from CSU Long Beach, CSU Dominguez Hills and Chapman University. In December, 20 outgoing members and volunteers met at Cal Bowl in Lakewood for a fun night of bowling…well, mostly gutter balls but great pizza. For many survivors, it had been years since they had bowled. For others, it was the first time bowling since their accident or stroke. We had a cheering section and fabulous cupcakes made by Amanda Alexander, Becky Weiss, Kayla Lacoco and Breanne Macleod – our student volunteers from CSULB.



Book Review:

Brain Injury Survival Kit by Cheryle Sullivan, MD (2008)


This book gives brain injury survivors, their families and loved ones the strategies they need to improve brain function and quality of life. This book can be a guide to an easier transition into life with a brain injury but it can also be used with adolescents who have not suffered an injury.  For example, Chapter 4 – Checklists and Routines outlines how to get yourself organized and how to do it consistently every day. Being consistent in your daily schedule helps you to recall what needs to be done daily. According to the author, Dr. Cheryle Sullivan, our bodies and minds function better with consistent times for sleep, waking and meals. Dr.Sullivan remarks that an erratic daily schedule causes undue stress on our already stressed bodies. The section on “End of the Day” was extremely helpful; it gives you tips on preparing for tomorrow.


For more information on this book, you can find it online or in a bookstore. ISBN-13:978-1-932603-73-6. Publisher is Demos Health in New York

Upcoming Events
Think Tank 2011

March 27, 2011


The Grand

4101 E. Willow Street

Long Beach, CA 90815


This is our second annual brain injury symposium featuring lectures by nationally recognized physicians, psychologists, speech language pathologists and expert caregivers. You do not want to miss this exciting and informative event.

Get more information here.




Spotlight on Charlie Scarborough

Written by Charlie


Hi my name is Charlie. I’m 19.  I was in a car accident when I was 9 years old.  My dad and mom divorced when I was a baby and we were with our dad over winter break. On December 28 2000, me my sister and my dad were headed down the highway. He was on drugs. He was speeding and he had driven off the road into a tree. The car was completely smashed. My dad died instantly from the impact. My sister was in the front seat next to my dad. She was reclined listening to her music and I was in the back. My seat belt broke upon impact. My sister wasn’t hurt much on impact because she was reclined. She suffered a couple injuries. As for me, my seat belt broke and I hit the back of the seat in front of me. I had fallen on the back floor and was knocked out. My sister had got up to the highway and tried to get help, but cars kept passing her.  She was so scared and out of faith she walked out into the road.


A car stopped. Noelle is my sister and she is my hero.  Noelle in panic told the people about me and my dad.  They got help. They got paramedics to the car and got my dad’s remains. He died instantly.  They couldn’t find anyone else but I was still in the car. My sister said my brother was in the car crying and she kept saying it over and over that my brother is in the car. The remainder of the car is completely smashed and I’m on floor in back. The paramedics got the Jaws of Life and pried the medal off the top of the car.  I’m on the floor knocked out. I had slipped into a coma.  They rushed me and my sister to the nearest hospital. My mom and dad live out in a mountain area so they took me to the hospital.  I had severe injuries so they had to life- flight me to Sacramento UC Davis Hospital. I was treated for my multiple injuries. I had a severed right carotid artery, a collapsed lung, the left sided blood clot in my brain, severe facial fractures, and a right parietal stroke.


I was in a coma for 2 and half weeks. I had to relearn everything walk, talk, eat. go to the bathroom and everything etc.


I was in the hospital for a total of 2 months.  I had a long recovery at home afterwards.  My family was there to support me all the way. My mom was always there. She has supported me and fought for me and has cared the most.  My mom provided me with the care, love, hope and everything I needed.  I’m proud to have her as a mom.



Spotlight on Diane Rix

Written by Diane



I will never forget that night in my head. It felt like a volcano was going to blow up!

It was a normal night and I went to bed. I got up to go to the bathroom and that is when my head felt full of pressure. I told my husband Robin to call 911. I got my clothes on for the hospital. I went down to the kitchen to wait for the paramedics.


They came and examined me and said my blood pressure was ok. They said it would take about 4 hours in the ER if they took me to the hospital. I decided not to go and went back to bed. I was feeling better. I don’t remember anything that happened the next day. It was Memorial Day May 31, 2007.I don’t like going away for the holidays and I was lucky to be home that day.

My husband Robin said he checked on me every half hour. He said I woke up and starting talking about Disneyland, characters like Mickey Mouse and the duck! He called my sister to come over. They took me to Long Beach Memorial Hospital. The nurse looked me over and said my eyes looked funny. They took me in and xrayed my head.

They said I had an aneursym on the left side. The vein that you talk with. It had ruptured and I was bleeding in the brain. They wanted a Brain Doctor and he came in. He was wonderful. It took 11 hours of surgery and the surgeon just fixed the vein and did not touch other veins that would affect my physical functions. I thank him.

I went home and my family did everything for me. I am so lucky people would say. But I cannot talk. Robin looked for a doctor who would help me talk. I told Robin that I will not see an old, bald speech doctor. I was very happy when Angela came out of her office. I knew this woman would take care of ME. She gave me my life back. Now I can talk and I volunteer at the Long Beach Aquarium. I am glad to be involved with BRAIN and I love the group and all the people in FBI! I have made new friends.


In This Issue
Book review


Did you know?

That chronic use of alcohol has been linked to enlargement of the brain’s ventricles, and possibly atrophy of the cerebral cortex. If alcohol is consumed in place of a normal diet, there are severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies. (How your brain works – Anne Novitt-Moreno, MD 1995)

Quick Links
Register Now for the Think Tank 2011 symposium
Final Reminder

Go out of your way to help someone who needs help. We are fortunate in the United States to have freedom. Thank a service man or woman, your policeman or your fireman. We are in this world together and we want to make it right for everyone.

Make sure you check out the Think Tank Symposium. It will change your life and perhaps someone elses too.


Until next month,

Angela Mandas, MA CCC

Speech Language Pathologist

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