Survivor Highlight: Jennie Dovico
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, (a little bit about your brain injury, how long ago, etc), and your hobbies/interests.
I’m so very grateful for life itself. Acquiring a brain injury at 17 years old left me wondering if I would ever be/feel “normal” again. The doctors knew very little about traumatic brain injuries back then, so they misdiagnosed, mistreated and both incorrectly and over-medicated me. I've experienced 20+ years of having 2-3 Petite Mal seizures a day each resulting in losing consciousness and falling to the ground causing a second injury to the head/face and/or body, dozens of trips to the ER, and too many doctors appointments and MRIs to count. God finally led me to the right neurologist at UCI, who correctly diagnosed me with having Epilepsy and helped me down the right treatment path.
I very much enjoy getting out into nature with my family, ballroom dancing with my husband, Keith, and mini road trips and outdoor adventures with my daughter, Christina. I also very much enjoy staying physically active and early morning walks.
2. How did you get involved with B.R.A.I.N? How long have been coming to B.R.A.I.N?
I found and became involved with B.R.A.I.N. through my sweet daughter, Christina. Her continual invitation for me to join her at a Tuesday night meetings where she had been volunteering for over 4 years was finally welcomed with excitement and curiosity. I wondered if I would find people who were accepting of me and the continual challenges I was having stemming from my brain injury- loss of memory, poor equilibrium and speech challenges. I’ve been blessed to be a part of B.R.A.I.N for almost 5 years now.
3. What makes you keep coming back to BRAIN? How has it changed you?
I continue to come back to B.R.A.I.N. because it feels like a family and I feel at home and accepted. Now, almost 5 years later, through B.R.A.I.N. I’ve found not only a wonderfully supportive group that can relate to and empathize with my struggles and I theirs. But I have also learned a great understanding about brain injuries and the wellness of the brain (proper nutrition/sleep/exercise), and a great deal about patience with myself, my brain injury, and the future.
4. Have you taken any other classes or services through BRAIN? If so, can you tell us about how it has benefited you?
I’ve had the opportunity to take the Cognitive Therapy class for a few sessions and the Yoga classes which have benefited me greatly on Mondays. I still use many of the tools I learned from the Cognitive class in my everyday life. In addition to the classes, I’ve also found a new social life through the various social events provided by B.R.A.I.N. (bowling, Long Beach Aquarium, park picnics, concerts in the park, movie nights, etc) and I'm so grateful for those newfound experiences with my B.R.A.I.N. family.
5. Any future goals/aspirations?
My future goal is to obtain my drivers license and take myself to doctors appointments, run my own errands, and not have to depend on others for transportation.
Jennie Dovico, brain injury survivor