Newsletter – July 2011

Summertime Fun with F.B.I.  

Friends of Brain Injury


Linda Brittany Sandra

Peggy and Grace

B.R.A.I.N. Contact Info


5267 Warner Ave, #306

Huntington Beach, California 92649


ph. 714-625-7225

fax 714-960-1875

diane and daughter 





grace and sean





david and susie










marvin and cassandra





sue and brad















cris, diane, peg
















dancing 3














Concert in Park 1




Concert in Park 2





stacia and angela





Dena and Eva






kevin and his mother





Megan and Paul

Dear Friends, 


We measure things in life by what we get. For example, if we work hard we get more money, or if we study hard we get a good grade. However, with any type of brain injury, we measure the smallest amount of progress and we rejoice. July marks the time in which we vacation, read magazines at the beach, catch up on seeing friends, and relax. With a brain injury, there is no time to relax as work needs to continue. We celebrate the hard work and successes of each and every one of our brain injury survivors and friends this summer.


We celebrate the highs of July with birthdays. Happy Birthday to Sandra, Stacey and others whom we don’t know yet!


We celebrate the homecoming of Grant Boswith, a young man who suffered an anoxic brain injury while in the hospital for a strep throat. We celebrate Ashlyn Levin who spoke her first true word on Monday, July 18th after a year of silence from her anoxic brain injury.


We celebrate the generous spirits of our volunteers who take time to join us in fun at our FBI gatherings. We celebrate life together.


As you may know, I teach at Chapman University in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program. One of my graduate students, Natalie Pentz Davis, lost her brother Brandon to a traumatic brain injury (TBI) last year, and this year they are celebrating his life by making donations to four charities. B.R.A.I.N. has been selected to be one of the four charities. This man lived a full life but died early as he was making a difference in others’ lives.


The memorial fundraiser will be held in Riverside on August 7th with a car show, golf tournament, and In-N-Out Burger served. Spread the word and join me in Riverside to represent B.R.A.I.N.


Check it out the Brandon Pentz Memorial Fund website here


“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

~Winston Churchill (1874-1965)


Contact me if you want to have a life changing experience.


Angela Mandas, MA CCC

Speech Language Pathologist

Newsletter Editor

F.B.I. Group Facilitator


The Joy of Music 

– Chris Braunschweiger


Attending the concert in the park with B.R.A.I.N. on July 7th was a wonderful event for multiple reasons. Peggy and I (her partner, Chris) have enjoyed going to the concerts for years. The live music inevitably lifts our spirits and gets us out of the house and into the community. Music is known to have a stimulating and healing affect on the brain and has been an integral part of Peggy’s brain rehabilitation. But this past Thursday (July 7th) was amazing because a large group from B.R.A.I.N. also attended. It was so nice to be met with smiling faces and friendly people we easily connected with. As the music started, it was obvious to see the enjoyment on the group members’ faces.  It wasn’t long before B.R.A.I.N. members joined the small children and a few other adults in front of the stage and started dancing up a storm. With a little coaxing, Peggy was up with the group dancing and never wanted to sit down again! As the singer from the band, “The Classic Cats” commended the B.R.A.I.N. dancers for their obvious enthusiasm and sheer enjoyment of the music, I sat back and smiled. The moment was perfect. As Peggy later said of the event, “I felt so connnected with everyone and at the same time had so much fun. This event was good for both my heart and my brain.” Hats off to the people at B.R.A.I.N. who arranged this terrific event!

Alex’s Story 

– as told by his Father, Tomás Ramirez


Alex is an exceptionally smart 52 year old, not too shy of a man. When Alex

was in high school he sang with a choir called The American Heirs. He, along with three other boys, formed a singing quartet and they harmonized really well. The group sang at the Downey Music Center in Disneyland as well as other Civic Auditoriums. Alex is a perpetual student. After graduating from Santa Fe High School, he attended various colleges. He knew how to do computer repair, and he attended fire fighting school. But upon graduation, he discovered he was to old to become a fire fighter. He also attended, through ROP, a class on how to make glasses from prescriptions and how to measure people who need them. Alex knew how to play the guitar really well and he is beginning to practice and trying to learn it again. Like some young boys do, Alex became involved in drugs and had it difficult for a long time in his life.


Alex suffered a stroke on May 5th of 2009. He was in the Navy, and as a veteran and is able to get medical services through the Veterans Hospital. He attended the speech therapy classes at the VA Hospital in Long Beach. After several

sessions Alex was told that he had reached a plateau and they could no longer do more for him. One of the students from Cal State Long Beach that was participating at the VA recommended that Alex look into the Speech Pathology classes at CSULB. So we did, and Alex was accepted.


This is where Alex met Angela Mandas. She recommended that Alex should attend the FBI sessions with B.R.A.I.N. Well soon after Alex joined B.R.A.I.N. we knew he had found a place where he could be as if he were with family.
Alex loves it there and his speech has come back rather remarkably. Although he has a hard time remembering all the members names he has told me that he loves them all and there is no better place that he would rather be then with his friends at B.R.A.I.N.



Update from Our Founder, Sue Rueb 


Dear Friends,


Each day gives me opportunities to speak, email, text or generally connect with many new people who are well acquainted with brain injury. I receive phone calls from out of state as well as all over California from interested parties in B.R.A.I.N. and its activities. Many people are being helped who are unable to get to our local events and we are grateful for such opportunities to serve. The Lions’ Club of Long Beach heard all about B.R.A.I.N. on July 15 and we have received several responses from their group.
On July 28th, Angela Mandas, Debbie Edwards and I will be formally presenting B.R.A.I.N. at the Veterans Administration Community Collaborative Meeting in Los Angeles. Sergeant Major James Schickel (Ret) has invited us and we are grateful to accept the invitation. We have offered him an invitation to our annual Summer BBQ on August 20th at El Dorado Park and I’m hoping you will all get to meet him.


Personally, I want to tell you how happy I am with Art Luque’s photographic skills. He came with me to see our daughter, Kristin last month and did a superb job of relating to her as he took her picture. She enjoyed wearing Art’s sunglasses and was at ease with our visit.  Thank you so much, Art.  This past week, Kristin called and asked me to come over to her place and have a talk.  Though we had made two visits that week, I made the point of responding to that request because it is so rare for her to ask for connection. She wanted a book to read and even turned down the invitation of buying a new t-shirt with the comment, “I already have enough clothes.”  Since her hyperbaric oxygen treatments, we see a real improvement in her attitude and cognition.  B.R.A.I.N.’s bank of referral professionals is an encouragement to many and this month, our family is especially grateful to Advanced Hyperbarics in Stanton, CA for their care and skill in helping our daughter, Kristin. We look forward to more improvement as the time goes on.


Visit Advanced Hyperbarics’ Website here

With Hope for the Future,



















Super Mex Fundraiser Dinner with Friends – Eat with us! 



The summer only gets better with our upcoming “Fundraiser Dinner With Friends” August 8th at Super Mex in Lakewood!



Where: 5254 Faculty Ave. Lakewood, CA 90712


When: Monday, August 8th

We will meet at 4:30pm for dinner together

Fundraiser will be all day: 11am – 9pm


*Click here to print the official flyer (cut it in half to make 2) to bring to the fundraiser

**20% of the proceeds will benefit B.R.A.I.N.



If you cannot make it at that time and would still like to help B.R.A.I.N. out while enjoying a yummy meal, please stop by at any time during the day. We hope to see you all for dinner and an enjoyable evening together! Bring all your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc!


This email was sent to by |

B.R.A.I.N. | 5267 Warner Ave, #306 | Huntington Beach | CA | 92649