Newsletter – October 2010

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October 2010 Volume 2

Welcome to B.R.A.I.N.

Hello Friends!

The weather is finally feeling like the Fall. The leaves are turning colors and it is getting a little cooler at night. We should think about reaching out to someone who may not get out in the evening and invite them to join us on Monday nights at the Communication Group meetings. You can read more about them in the below newsletter. As the editor of this newsletter, I have the priviledge of selecting interesting facts and get to meet some of the nicest people. The feature story for October is written by Carl Northington. He is a survivor in every sense of the word.

Last month, I gave a tip for your health and this month I have turned to brain health and the nuts that are good for us. You can eat walnuts and not feel bad about gaining weight as it only takes a quarter of a cup to get the recommended benefit. Pretty nice, huh!
In closing, think about the words of Herman Melville, a well-known American novelist,
We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men!

My story. By Carl Northington

My brain injury happened 28 years ago in 1982. I had been mugged for robbery. I guess I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. A woman opened her door in the morning and there I lay. I had been there all night. I was lucky back then, to be kept in the hospital for six months. I had to learn to eat again, sit up, talk and then finally stand. After extensive therapies I was sent home, in a wheelchair, to my mother’s apartment. There, for three months, I continued my physical, occupational and speech therapy. I was left at home all by myself, became depressed and had no motivation. See, there was only my mother and she had to work. Since I was not succeeding in my recovery, my physical therapist admitted me to Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in Downey, Ca. I was in the brain injury ward, for three months, getting more therapy. I finally walked out with a cane in my hand.

Being home, BORING. I needed to keep busy for my mental stimulation. I enrolled in a Junior college part time and then volunteered for the Southern Calif. Head Injury Foundation at Memorial Hospital. Eight hours a day, five days a week, I worked. It was like the job that I had before my injury. I had such a great feeling of making a contribution and self worth. I answered the Help Line telephone and kept the files, doing mailings of brain injury literature to requesting families. Then in 1988 I joined the Betty Clooney Foundation. A day activity center for brain injured adults. The staff recognized my determination after awhile. They rewarded me with a paid full-time position. I was Administrative Assistant to the Director. After a couple of years, I applied to the Long Beach School District and was hired to assist the Textbook Services Manager. I was able to work for seven years but finally realized that I was fighting exhaustion to succeed. I resigned and have been retired since.

My wife, Kathy,  is also brain injured, and we met in 1988. We dated for nine years and finally married. The delay?

Her parents did not want to let her go! She had her injury when she was just seventeen years old.

I met Sue and Jerry Rueb in March, 2010. I have become a Advocate for B.R.A.I.N. I have been involved with many brain injury organizations since my injury. Out of all these groups, B.R.A.I.N. definitely deserves attention so the persons in need are aware of this Organization. B.R.A.I.N.’s future in development, to serve the brain injured with HOPE for their future, is fantastic to anticipate and makes me so excited. Sue and Jerry Rueb are determined to give “Hope and Positive Dreams” to my population of brain injured friends and colleagues.

In ending, everything that I have struggled with since my brain injury, I have seen as a CHALLENGE.

I made it.

I do not want to concentrate on my disability but rather on my abilities.

Everyday I have to realize that TODAY is the first day of the rest of my life. So I will make the best of it and strive to do the best I can. That is all one can ask………

Friends of Brain Injury (FBI):Communication Groups

The first group meeting was a roaring sucess with 45 people in attendance. Each person/survivor/volunteer introduced themselves and then had to answer 3 questions. The questions were the following: What are you grateful for? What are you good at? and finally, What are your goals for this week? The answers were met with cheers, tears and applause.

The group will continue meeting on Monday nights from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Cornerstone Building on 1000 N. Studerbaker Road in Long Beach. The meeting is held in classroom #3.
Students from CSULB and CSUDH volunteered their time, their skills and their talents by assisting, lending an ear, setting up the room, and helping a survivor.
Since the FBI group meets at a University building, there are dates in which the room is not available.
The group will not meet on the following dates:
October 25, November 15 and November 22 2010.
Stay tuned for weekly updates after the meetings.
For more information contact Angela at her email
Angela Mandas, Speech Language Pathologist
Group leader

Nuts for Brain Health?

Did you know that Walnuts are the top nut for Brain Health? They have a significantly high concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. DHA has been proven to protect brain health in newborns , improve cognitive abilities in adults and prevent cognitive decline from old age.

So how much should you have? Just one quarter of a cup of walnuts provides nearly 100% of the recommended daily intake of DHA.

So go Nutty Today! Reference:Karen Merzenich August 25, 2010 Posit Science Brain Training Blog.

Silence is NOT Golden

A workshop will be held on Tuesday October 26, 2010 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Goodwill Industries Area Board XI, 2000 E. Fourth Street, Suite 115, Santa Ana.

Joe Swingle, a Speech Language Pathologist will discuss Augmentative and Alternative Communication for People with Significant Communication Impairments.
Space is limited. Call 714 558-4404 for a reservation.

In This Issue
Carl’s story
Go nutty
Newsworthy news

Carl Northington- My story
Have a question about the featured story? Contact Carl at his email

Wanna talk or share?
Thank you for your support of B.R.A.I.N. If you want to contact me, feel free to call me at
(714) 625-7225 or at the link below.
Sue Rueb
Founder and President

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