speak up for TBI



Together, we mobilized a very powerful grassroots messaging campaign to the Governor's office (over 500 individuals in 72 hours!).  Your voices were heard and touched the Governor's office staff deeply.  Below is  a collection of those emails.  "Thank you," doesn't begin to tell you how grateful we are. 


 

My name is Carolyn Rocchio and I am not only the parent of a son with severe traumatic brain injury but the founder of the Brain Injury Association of FL (BIAF). I am one of the lucky ones, my son was injured in 1982, as a result of the negligence of others, and I have been able to provide his care for the past 29 years with personal resources. Never a penny of State assistance was required. My son is less mobility impaired than cognitively disabled and he requires 24/7 care and supervision for his safety. Now that I am widowed that care is provided by my eldest son and myself.


I had to take my son out of the state for rehabilitation because there was no appropriate rehab available in state at that time. Once back in my home community I organized the Brain Injury Association, an affiliate chapter of the Brain Injury Association of America, to share the education and informational resources I acquired in out of state rehabilitation facilities. BIAF is a lifeline for families less fortunate than mine, they are totally dependent on the services through the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program (BSCIP) to obtain limited rehabilitation but it is over the lifetime of the individual and their family members that the partnership between BSCIP and BIAF's coordination of supports and follow along services from the BIAF make a difference with outcome and quality of life. 


Without these services many family members will have to give up employment to provide care, and more individuals will end up in the judicial and mental health systems. Please support the thousands of families struggling to survive this devastating injury by encouraging the inclusion of the of Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001 to remain in the Governors budget. People sustaining TBI's are a unique disability group, they remember the person they were before injury, they seldom drop into a retarded IQ range, but their lives will never be the same however, quality of life can be enhanced with proper guidance and support.”

 

 

 “The victims of TBI in our state need your support for the funding of HB 5001. My personal experience as a Board Member on The Moody Manor Foundation in Southwest Ranches, Florida has me convinced that the impact of a dignified living for those who suffer goes far beyond the victims themselves. This facility provides the residents, their families, their friends and the community the one main ingredient in life:  HOPE. And from HOPE one can carry forward a LIFE filled with CARE and LOVE. It is the circle that can't be broken.”

 

“My head injury was the result of a 40 mph impact from a hit and run driver while I was mowing my front yard 4 years ago. Although I look the same, my ability to process information, communicate, and remember have been so compromised my 26 years in education ended. The TBI support group that meets monthly at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital connected me and my husband with other survivors. Attending the BIAF conference in Tallahassee and standing with others in the Capitol restored my hope that despite the disability my voice would be heard. Through this organization, precious time was saved as members shared their experiences with interventions that made a difference in their quality of life.

 

From surviving to thriving is the slogan on a t-shirt I received from this organization. When I wear it I have an opportunity to share with others the frustration of TBI individually yet the promise of a better life when working with others.”

 “. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Englewood, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community. 

I had no other venue to assist me or reach out to after I was injured as a passenger in a fatal, three car accident.  There were no other resources available to me in part because I had no health insurance and my employer was killed in the tragedy. I read everything that is published by this association because they are an educated, connected, well networked group of brain injury specialists.  Without the Brain Injury Association of Florida I would have made the choice to file for disability. They have kept me going - instead of giving up.”

“I am writing in response to the awful threat of funding being cancelled for Brain Injury Association of Florida. My name is __________, and I was married to a man who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury here in Leon County. After the accident I sought out and went to work for BIAF for a number of years as I was passionate about the need for the services they offer.

 In short, families will not stay intact - marriages will not survive - individuals with brain injuries will not succeed at a recovering a near-normal life - society will not become educated about the injuries and aftermath of people who sustain injuries and how to help them - law enforcement and hospitals will not receive the assistance they need to direct families for aftercare - our returning veterans will not get the kind of help they need and deserve - if funding for this very valuable outreach and education program is cancelled. Brain injury affects every segment of society and we all either know someone with an injury or someone who knows someone.

 Please, Please reconsider decimating such a critical service and source of education, care and direct assistance to families and individuals. Doing so would be taking a disappointing step BACKWARDS for our state, our citizens, our returning vets, and it's hard to believe Governor Scott, if he truly understands the implication, would choose this as a legacy.”

 

 “Please encourage the governor to support this bill for funding of BIAF.  My step-daughter, __________ has greatly benefited from this group. They have helped her to understand her limitations and to fit into the community. She has enjoyed many benefits and has friends through this group.”

 

 

“. . .  I'm a primary care giver for my older Brother __________ (58yrs old) who had a severe stroke back in 2007. _____ is badly handicapped from the brain damage accrued by the stroke. He was planning on retiring and living the American dream of golf, fishing, and gardening in his twilight.

 Unfortunately God had other plans for him and our family. He presently lives on 100% disability from Social Security and I live with and help support him here in Panama City, Fl.

 He lost sight in one of his eyes, has severe aphasia, and hasn't been able to speak for almost four years sadly. His quality of life has obviously been drastically changed. Luckily we got involved with the Second Chance Group here in PC and it has had a significant positive effect on Mike and our families lives.

 Without some funding support from you and other kind souls in our community this wonderful hard working group might not be able to survive. Please support Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001for funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida. Thanks for your support, you have my vote.”

 

“My name is __________, a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Marianna, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 
“My name is __________ a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Riverview, Fl. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my Step Mother’s survival in the community.

Please keep this going. There is so many people that need this and do not have anyone to help or speak for them.”

 

“My name is _______________ and I live in Destin, FL. My son is a survivor of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). He is now 50 years old and his family has lived with his situation for over 12 years. Fortunately, Rick has attained a substantial degree of recovery far better than we ever expected, given his dire initial circumstances (coma, severe aphasia, years of rehabilitation, etc.) when he experienced a cerebral hemorrhage in 1998.

 I have just learned that the Governor's Staff has recommended that the Brain Injury Association of Florida's (BIAF) funding in the budget be vetoed by the Governor. I am writing to you to ask that you request Governor Scott not to delete funding for BIAF, an organization that has assisted TBI victims in Florida for over 25 years. I want the Governor to support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brain Injury Association of Florida. The BIAF organization’s support has been crucial to my son’s continuing recovery and ability to lead as normal a life as possible within the confines of this medical condition.

 ______’s continuing recovery is, in no small part I believe, primarily due to the care, assistance and understanding of many people, including his loved ones and caregivers in various organizations and communities. One very important organization for _____ has been the BIAF. Needless to say, this group has been very important to our son’s well being as well as the other estimated 300,000+ people in Florida with varying degrees of this medical condition .

 I presume, without concrete knowledge, that no one on the governor’s staff or in his cabinet, has a loved one or friend with this medical condition and thus may not be aware of how debilitating and serious it can be for the individual, their families and friends. Loving caregiving is essential in the vast majority of individuals with TBI and the Brain Injury Association of Florida has been instrumental for over 25 years in assisting people in the recovery from this debilitating medical condition. Perhaps even the governor himself is not aware of the special problems and needs of TBI individuals (in Florida and elsewhere) and how important a support group like the BIAF is to these people...I would welcome an opportunity to discuss the TBI condition with him or any member of his staff.

 By the way, the BIAF would welcome the governor and/or any of his staff to participate in the BIAF organization and learn about TBI and the survivors of this medical condition as well as meet many of the wonderful caregivers and volunteers of the group.

 Thank you for taking the time to listen to my concerns. I realize that the Governor has many competing and well deserving organizations competing for state funding but I also sincerely believe that the Brain Injury Association of Florida is one of the most deserving of continuing funding given it’s beneficial effects on several hundred of thousands of Floridians afflicted with TBI...as well as the effect on their loving caregivers and volunteers.

 I sincerely hope you ask the governor to not delete funding for BIAF. Without continuing state funding this organization will cease to exist. So please ask him and his staff to consider very seriously the consequences to many, many Florida citizens with TBI and their caregivers and numerous volunteers, of not continuing to fund this essential organization.”

 
“. . .  I am 22 years old and I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Lakeland, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

On September 18, 2010 I suffered injuries due to a terrible auto accident on I-75.  If it wasn't for the wonderful care I received at Tampa General Hospital, and the support of the Florida Brain Injury Assoc., I don't what would have happened to me.  I received so much support and got the critical care that I needed through out patient rehab at Esteem ( a part of Winter Haven Hospital), thanks to the FL Brain Injury Assoc. ( My insurance only covered a small part of this.) 

I received damage to both frontal lobes and suffered from memory loss, processing and conceptual problems, as well as depression.  Because of the care I received, I am now back in college and about to complete my AA degree from Polk State College, and plan on getting my bachelors degree, hopefully my Masters degree . I am truly grateful for the support and help I received and know that this program works and is necessary to help people like me. I would appreciate your consideration and help in keeping this program going for others who suffer as I did.”

 
“. . .  I am a registered nurse and case manager at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Sarasota.  I am sending you this message because I want the Governor to support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001.  This includes funding to support services for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

“As a health care provider, and role in safe discharge planning for brain injury patients, it is CRUCIAL to continue to have the support of the BIAF.  Otherwise, the Medicaid system may be further burdened if patients afflicted with brain injuries do not receive any benefits. Those patients will  possibly end up tapping the Medicaid system for further treatment, admissions, etc.  We want to provide the safest and most appropriate discharge planning for those affected, and the BIAF is one of those organizations that has made a difference in people’s lives.  The case management department here at HealthSouth has had much contact with two pivotal nurses who have helped in providing equipment and resources for patients here in Sarasota, Manatee, and Lee counties.   These efforts have been instrumental in helping transition patients to their home settings.”

 

“. . .  and I am a survivor of a Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Miami Beach, FL.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 I couldn't find help anywhere, and was desperate, until I found BIAF and the most wonderful man, Harold Angel, who finally put me on the right path. He put me in touch with a neuropsychologist that specializes in brain injury and facilitates a support group. 

Mr. Angel then put me in touch with the Florida Dept. of Health's Brain Injury Program.  Because I no longer had health insurance, I was able to receive 3 months of therapies and a network of people that understand what I was/am going through. Harold continued to call to check up on me.  His kindness, knowledge and patience came at a most critical time for me and I will be forever grateful.

I look forward to the BIAF monthly newsletters, which have  been extremely helpful to me, my doctors and my family.

Please continue to fund the BIAF, there are so many more of us out there than you know.”

 

 

“I work as a Peer Mentor at the Suncoast Center for Independent Living in Sarasota Florida.  I run a support group for people with Traumatic Brain Injuries.  Each month between 15 and 20 people attend this meeting.  Weekly, I get calls from people that live too far from the meeting place to make the trip and who are requesting a meeting in their area.

The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my ability to provide this much needed support.  I consult with Cheryl and Dale at least once a week about complicated matters in one of our consumer’s lives.  A staff member from BIAF attend our meetings to provide accurate and up-to-date information about funding and care giving. 

There are many complex issues that arise for a brain injury survivor and their families, such as, guardianship, legal matters, funding, treatments  and the mental health of the family members who are dealing with a huge crisis.”

 

 

“. .  . I am a  family friend  of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury and a friend of the Caregiver of that survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Winter Park, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to his survival in the community.

I am writing to ask that the Governor continues to support HB5001 for Brain Injury Association of Florida.” 

 

 

“. . .  I am a family/caregiver member of a survivor of acquired Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Boca Raton, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community. 

Our son was a victim of an unprovoked attacked, hand has had 4 stints of rehabilitation uncovered by insurance.  The Brain Injury Association has kept in touch with us, kept us informed and directed us to various resources that we could have never found on our own.  The constant touch of a knowledgeable staff member has been invaluable to Noah’s recovery.  Without the Brain Injury Association, we could not have found the resources to help.

Just 18 months later, he has relearned to walk, talk and eat.  He is currently taking a precollege course and driving by himself again.  I am sure there are many places to cut funding… but this is not one of them.  Appropriate systems just do not exist for TBI victim.  Please take the time to care about what really matters.

A Brain is a terrible thing to waste.  Thanks for your time and effort.”

 

 

“. . .  and I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms living in Lake Mary, FL. 

I have a unique sort of brain injury that isn't classified as a TBI but I suffer the symptoms and issues related to a TBI. Five years ago I endured an intracerebral hemorrhage. This is where the blood vessels in the brain burst (my blood pressure was estimated at hitting 400 systolic) and my cranial cavity then filled up with blood and squeezed my brain, much like what happens in an auto accident when your head hits the windshield.

It's hard for most to fully grasp the severity of this but this information is usually enough to (literally) turn the faces pale white of the medical professionals I mention it to. The ER staff had told my wife that they have never heard such anguished screams in their lives. I later found out that this would be due to the fact that most people who endure what I did are already unconscious by the time they hit the ER. I spent the next week and a half in a coma. When I came out of it, I spent the next 6 months relearning (or remembering) how to do all the things I had learned the previous 34 years of my life. I am a "lucky" one.

I have met several TBI patients in the past 5 years that had spent more than a year in therapy to finally move the fingers on one hand, spent years working on controlling their emotions "like an adult", and months trying to learn methods to get by in society and seem "normal". That is what most of us can only hope for, to seem like everyone else. In my support group we discuss this a lot. When you have lost a limb people can see that and expect you to "lag behind", but when it's your brain and not physical they wonder why you can't keep up. Ironically enough, the fellow brain injureds I encounter ALL want to return to as normal a life as possible, which includes earning a paycheck.

The BIA helps to do this where if it wasn't here, many of us would have to stay on disability.. possibly for life.  The BIA is not able to help me in most cases as they are restricted to helping only those with a true TBI classification but they have been very generous in helping pass along information and referrals to professionals that are experienced with brain injuries. Without them I wouldn't have had a clue on how to locate those professionals. I, as well as my family, are hoping to volunteer this year at their summer camp as we know first hand what TBI sufferers are going through.

Thank you for you time and attention to this, and I hope the info helped see the brain injured side of things.”

 

“The Brain Injury Association of Florida is an association that does wonderful work. They help people cope with the devastating consequences of traumatic brain injury. Please support their work by not crippling their funding.”

 

“. . . I am a Florida citizen, living in Melbourne, FL.  I concerned about The Governor's recommendation that   support for Brain Injury Association of Florida be vetoed from the Florida budget.

I do recognize that the Florida budget is being strained to meet the Legislature's and Governor's objectives but I cannot stress how important their work is to the health of our state.”

 

“. . . both my wife, who is a pediatric rehab nurse, and I work with families of patients with Traumatic Brain Injury. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to these patients’ and their families’ survival in the community.  The association connects the patients and their families with much needed resources and often makes the difference between parents being able to continue to work versus having to quit their jobs to become eligible for Medicaid.  It is a critical association to a healthy, working society.”

 

“. . . I am a (survivor with traumatic brain injury, family member of a survivor with traumatic brain injury or caregiver of traumatic brain injury) living in West Palm Beach, FL. Brain injury association of florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Miami, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

I was involved in a boat accident in Feb 2011 with a TBI. Thanks to Jackson Memorial and Brain Injury Association of Florida I’ve been able to continue with my life. Please do whatever possible for the funding to remain in the budget.”

 

. . .  I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

“I'm family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury in Miami, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 I was involved in a boat accident in Feb 2011. Thanks to Jackson Memorial and Brain Injury Association of Florida my brother has been able to continue with his life. Please do whatever possible for the funding to remain in the budget.”

 

I am the mother of a traumatic brain injury survivor. We are in Tallahassee, Florida. I left my home in Jacksonville to care for my son until he is independent enough for me to go home OR understands enough for me to take him home. We need MORE help for traumatic brain injury victims and their families, especially Moms who are their caregivers. Please don't eliminate such a vital association from our resources. Brain Injury is tragic enough and such a slow recovery process, we need more help, please.”

 

“. . . my son ________ has a severe brain injury.  I'm a bit late with this and don't generally reply to these requests but This Organization and there Staff Are Vital to the community and those in need of First Care while We Relatives try to get a grip on what has happened and Stumble thru Procedures to get started with a new reality.  They helped us thru a lot of hard times.  We still drop in on the staff that helps my son and he enjoys these visits. You can see the Lightin there faces and eyes when they see his recovery (which is still on going).”

 

As an RN who has seen the devastating results of this type of injury, I am asking that you please support line 580 of the GAA H.B. 5001 and fund the Brain Injury Association of Florida.  The people affected by brain injury need a voice - they need the help and support - and to pull funding would be incredibly cruel.  Please take a stand FOR these people - they need the help.”

 

“. . . my husband is a survivor of a Traumatic Brain Injury living in Tallahassee, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my husband's survival in the community.

 

It is my understanding that Governor Scott is wanting to cut funding for this organization. This is so hard for me to comprehend! I hope and pray that he nor anyone in his family ever has to live with a brain injury or suffer the effects of what it does to a person or their family.  I promise you, a brain injury is something that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. 

 

In July it will be 16 years since _____'s motor vehicle accident that left him unable to work, unable to remember important events in his/our life (ie. his wedding, our daughter's birth and her childhood/adulthood).  He has severe short term memory problems due to the brain injury.  I was married to Mike for 15 years prior to his accident.  I have now been married to a stranger for the last 16 years.  I cannot tell you how important the BIAF is to people like my husband, myself and our family.  Had they not had their funding, he would not have gotten the care he so desperately needed to survive.  The BIAF paid for his rehabilitation and would have paid for retraining for employment had he been employable.

 

I beg you, please do not cut the funding that so many people desperately need.  Words in this e-mail cannot do justice, but voices and pictures can!!!!  Should you like additional information, please feel free to contact me.”

 

 

“. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Margate Florida. The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been my lifeline to surviving a terrible auto accident, which left me very badly injured. They helped me learn how to walk and function again, sending me to therapy and teaching my family how to deal with my injuries.  They had a support group to help me and my family recover when doctors told my wife I will never walk again. Today I have a full and rewarding life thanks to the Brain Injury Association. Please call me for details of this great organization and what they have done for people like myself.”

 

 

“I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury.   I am writing you because I want the Governor to support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brain Injury Association of Florida. This funding is critical to assist survivors and their families with dealing with the devastating affects of TBI.  Thank you.”

 

 

“. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Miami, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community”

 

“. . . I am a social worker living in Broward County, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to many patients survival in the community. As a hospital social worker I can assure you that funding for the BIAF is strongly needed and must continue. If these individuals do not have assistance to meet their potential then what will become of them? Will they sit in nursing homes waiting to die? People can regain some or all of their former selves after a brain injury and to not advocate and fund a association who has made it their mission to help these individuals is criminal. As a voting resident of the state of FL I strongly encourage you to not stop funding for BIAF. This is a needed service that not only helps victims, but the families of those suffering from a brain injury.”

 

 

“I am a friend of a parent of a brain injury survivor living in Hollywood, FL.   The Brain Injury Association has been critical to the family’s managing through an extremely trying time.”

 

 

“. . . I am the father of a disabled daughter, who is a survivor of a traumatic brain injury now living in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  _____ was injured when she was a passenger in an automobile, stopped at a traffic light, that was struck by a car  stolen by and driven by an  out of control,  underage, unlicensed, retarded boy who was being chased by Jacksonville Beach Police at speeds to over 100 miles per hour.

The Brain Injury Association has been helpful to my daughter and our family in locating medical and support personnel to assist in her approximately 2 years of hospitalization and continuing a lifetime”

 

 

“. . . I am a survivor of a brain injury. The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community. And to help me understand my Brain Injury. There 800 # has been there for me when I need someone to talk me thou a thinking emotions. I could go on but I'm getting tired and need to close.

So please keep the BIAF by are side. And the funding in place.”

 

 

. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Florida. The Brain Association of Florida has been critical to _________ survival in the community! Please Support Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001 for funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

“. . . I know a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Pensacola, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to many a survival patient in this community.  Please continue to State Funding, it is crucial to the survival of many TBI victims.”

 

 

“. . . my brother, _______ is a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury,  living in Duval County, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to his survival in the community.

 

Without funding from the State for brain injury related support and efforts, Joseph would be sitting at home daily becoming more and more isolated from society.  Please urge Governor Scott to not veto this funding”

 
 

“I am a board member of the Brain Injury Association of Floirda.  I’m sending this email to you because I want the Governor to support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.

 

Brain Injury Association of Florida’s support has been critical to many individuals and family members suffering with this debilitating condition.  Thank you for taking the time to listen to my concern.”

 

 

“. . .  I am a mental health counselor. One of closest friends suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury and her life has never been the same. Another close friend also works with Physically Impaired children in the school setting. I have seen the progress her students have made with appropriate resources. 


Please do no cut funding for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.  I have seen how this association can better the lives of those effected by brain injury and want them to be able to continue to do so.”

 

 

“. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Pensaco, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

On July 26th, 1997, I sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI), with only a five percent chance of survival, resulting in my being in a coma. So, it has been near 15 years since I have been living with TBI. In that time, I have seen how the Brain Injury Association of Florida has been more than beneficial to several TBI survivors and also to many families with a loved one who has TBI, as not all of us traumatic brain injury survivors are capable of caring for ourselves. For me, Susan G,, the current co-ordinator of BIAF, in this region, of North West Florida, including Pensacola, has personally helped me in updating needed documentation, in helping me to be where I am, today.”

 
 

“My wife and I are so sorry to have learned that Line 580 of the GAA HB 5001 propose State bill would drop financial support for the needs of the Brain Injury Association of Florida. This is a terrific organization that guides brain injured people and their loved ones in dealing with their day to day problems that they have never had to relate to before. I believe that the Assn has more positive influence on people of extreme need than any other organization supported by the State of Florida.  Please encourage the Governor to veto Line item # 580 of the GAA bill. With more and more veterans returning from the war zones suffering from the effects of brain injuries, the Brain Injury Association of Florida  is needed now, more than ever. Please don’t let it die!!”

 
 

“. . . I am the Director for SCI-Neuro Programs at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital in Jacksonville, FL.  Many patients come to us with Spinal Cord Injuries as well as Traumatic Brian injuries. The Brain Injury Association of Florida is critical to our patient’s survival once they get back into their communities.

Please support the aforementioned legislation.”

 

“. . . I am a Physical Therapist and rehab professional working with survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury in Jacksonville, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to the survival and quality of life for TBI survivors in the community.  For the many BI patients/survivors and their families dealing with this tragic injury (and the challenges of daily life for their lifetime), it is critically important that they have the services & support provided by the Brain Injury Association of Florida.  I can’t begin to imagine dealing with the demands of this devastating injury without the help of advocates and services available through state funding and support. Please do not stop this funding!”

 

 

“. . . I am a  family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Orlando, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to our survival in the community. There simply are no alternatives to the assistance from this wonderful organization. Please be careful when considering programs that protect our most vulnerable friends and family.”

 

 

. . .   I am a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Orlando FL. I’m emailing you because I want the Governor to support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

“In my retirement as CEO of BIAF, I have become even more aware of the diminishing services for TBI throughout the state...especially with the trust fund that we, family members and survivors, fought so hard to establish. As you know, the information, advocacy and support that BIAF provides, reaches thousands of individuals who might otherwise become dependent on more costly state services. Please add my name to the list of those who are asking you to do whatever you can to continue funding for this vulnerable population.”

 

 

“. . . I work at St. Mary's Medical Center the Rehab Admission Office. I am the patient referral coordinator for the admission office. I work with quite a few traumatic brain injury patients and their families. The Brain Injury Association is a valuable resource for referral for patients and their families. It is one of the websites and telephone numbers that is given in outpatient package. I strongly urge to keep the funding for this association to continue”

 

 

. . . am a family member/caregiver of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Homestead, FL. I understand that funding for the Brain Injury Association of Florida is under threat of being discontinued and would like to implore Governor Scott to reconsider as he makes his final decisions regarding the new budget. We all appreciate the difficult economic times we are living in, and no one understands this reality more than our disabled population.

 

My son is a 15 year traumatic brain injury survivor and a lifelong resident of the State of Florida.  He was injured as a teenager and while the medical professionals were instrumental in not only saving his life, but helping him to reclaim all of the life skills that we take for granted on a daily basis, it has been his family with help through services such as BIAF that have helped him move forward where the medical professionals leave off.  BIAF provides a critical link for all Floridians living with TBI that no other service agency is able to provide.  We can always count on them for helpful information and for advocating for this population of Florida residents.  Whenever I pick up the phone and make a call to them, I am always provided with the information that I need.  They have caseworkers that actually assess the inidividuals needs and then help them find the resources, agencies, etc. to provide the help that they need. The loss of this agency would only leave the alternative of Vocational Rehabilition which in our estimation provides no "real" assistance at all.

 When our son was 18 and preparing to graduate from High School, he was referred to Vocational Rehabilitation for assistance in future education/employment. I can tell you from first-hand experience that the Vocational Rehabilitation system in the State of Florida is extremely flawed.  Our son has been in this system for 12 years and in different parts of the state from Miami to Jacksonville (where he attended college) and presently Orlando where he currently resides and lives independently. We feel that we have been exposed to a good representation of the system and how it works with the disabled residents of Florida.  While they did assist him with paying for tuition expenses for college, but only after great effort on behalf of his family advocating for him every step of the way, since earning his degree in 2005 we have found no real assistance from Vocational Rehabilitation when it comes to employment assistance.  I have never really understood how someone who can manage to obtain a college degree on his own merit, can have such a difficult time being placed for employment.

 They go through the motions, but nothing ever really happens.  We have even been part of a special program specifically for TBI, Project Results, which was a private grant brought about through efforts of BIAF to provide specific assistance in a coordinated effort with Vocational Rehabilitation to help our son become employed.  We went to monthly meetings, (I drove from Homestead to Orlando) to attend, and Vocational Rehabilitation again just went through the motions....Lots of talk and no real action.  It is our strong belief that until business as usual changes at this agency, all of the disabled in Florida, and most especially TBI survivors will continue to miss out on opportunities to help them become productive members of society and not just have them dependent on social services.  Our son, at present, does not rely on any financial assistance from the State, and it is our hope that he will never have to, but he cannot compete heads up for jobs because he can never be an equal to those job seekers without a disability.  He needs someone advocating and helping him get his foot in the door otherwise the doors are slammed time after time after time.  We know this reality in good economic times and it is especially worse in difficult economic times.

 It is because of this reason specifically that BIAF needs to continue to operate as it is the only "real" organization advocating and working to improve the lives of those affected by brain injury.  I would urge you to check out the statistics of the numbers of Floridians that are living with this disability, most through no fault of their own.  The numbers will only continue to rise in the coming years as medical advancements necessary for saving lives continue to move forward.  This is still a very new frontier for all of us which is evidenced with all of the soldiers whose lives are being saved due to medical advancements, but the reality of living life after the medicine has done its part is still a work in progress.  This agency was originally started by the mother of an injured son in an effort to provide assistance to those whose daily lives have been affected by this life changing disability.  If funding for BIAF is discontinued there will be no agency for TBI survivors. 

 I urge you to reconsider the ultimate cost to the State of Florida, should this agency be forced to close its doors.  The money spent here in all probability saves the State money in the long run in the help that it provides to so many living with TBI.”

 

 

“I am a Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Hollywod, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

 

. . . I am a (survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury,  living in Winter Park, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

I was hurt in a car accident 2008.  I am in need of assistance without the support of BIAF. Without BIAF I am 1 person by myself without a voice.  With the help of BIAF I am able to speak about the necessary things that I need.  Unless you are willing to change the law where I become a protected class with laws that protect me.  I need the support of BIAF.”

 

 

“. . . I am a family member of a survivor living in Pembroke Pines, Florida.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my son's survival in the community, and an asset to my family.”

 

 

I ran a nonprofit brain injury program for 16 years, so I know as well as anyone how critical funding can be in these lean times. However, I also know the value of getting a lot for the dollars you spend, so that in lean times the funds you have can go further and do more good. I believe it would be a huge mistake to cut funding for Florida's Brain Injury Association, because they have been able to do so much with so little.

Please support line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001 for funding the Brain Injury Association of Florida. Following a traumatic brain injury the survivors lose so much...please do not take away their support...their life line!”

 

 

“. . . I work with students with Traumatic Brain Injury in Broward County Public Schools.  The  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical in the survival of students with TBI in the community as they transition from the rehab setting to the educational setting.  Please support Line 580 of GAA, HB 5001 for funding for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Tramatic Brain Injury living in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Brain injury associate of florida has been critical to my nephews survival in the community.

My nephew  is a  young man who has a brain injury from a car accident. He was in his last year of law school. He has come a long way since the accident but needs the help of the Brain injury association to keep him going. With there help he has made great improvements he still has his funny sense of humor & he believes he will get better.”

 

 

“ . . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in West Palm Beach, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . . I am a Physical Therapist living in Jacksonville, FL.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my patients’ survival in the community.  Due to the changes in insurance coverage, many of our patients have limited time to rehabilitate after a severe injury.  This program has enabled them to receive further therapy and aided in the purchase of needed equipment that they would not otherwise be able to afford.  I work for Brooks Rehabilitation in the Neurological Day Treatment Program where at least 80% of our patients are present due to TBI.  Some of these folks are able to participate in this day program to receive the care that they need to return to be productive citizens again, all thanks to funding from BIAF.  I am desperately pleading that you not veto the funding that is given to this program in order to help these citizens of Florida.”

 

 

“. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Orlando, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

I was hit by a drunk driver and was in the Brain Injury Recovery Center in Longwood working on speech pathology. If it wasn’t for the research provided by the BIAF, I wouldn’t of received the proper treatment. The Dr. told me and my family that I would never perform the normal functions that I did before the accident. Four years after the accident, I’ve graduated from U.C.F with a double major and have been accepted to numerous law schools throughout the nation. Please feel free to contact me if you need to.”

 

 

“ . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in The Villages, FL.

 Brain Injury Association of Florida has contributed to my survival in the community.

I have been a member of 3 different support groups in my area for the 3 counties, and for many in the support groups for TBI, Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical in their survival in their life here in the community and in the state.

 

Their work, such as the Jamboree has made a difference for me... and for many, many others here in this state.”

 

 

“. . . I am a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in North Palm Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

 

“ . . .I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Miami, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my father’s survival in the community.

My father fell off a ladder putting up Christmas lights. Our life has never been the same since. A man who we relied on so much instantly became dependent on us. My mother is a school teacher, and once the insurance limits were reached we faced a very troubling conundrum.

How would we get my father the rehabilitation and brain simulation and therapy he needed, so he could get back to doing the most mundane of things? Fortunately, someone told us about the Brain Injury Association of Florida, and we will forever be thankful. The therapy they provided was a critical contribution at a critical time in his rehabilitation process. My mom would have never been able to afford this treatment one the insurance company cut us off.

I urge you to imagine what life would be like if your significant other, the person you loved, relied on you to call them (every time) to remind them to eat the food you left them prepped (because  they couldn't make their own sandwich)

Please do the right thing.”

 

 

“ . . . I am a survivor of a Traumatic Brain Injury and I am now living in Boynton Beach, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

The BIAF was a strong referral source and offered much needed emotional support in my time of crisis. The continuation of these services was a crucial part of getting through the toughest of times after I suffered a TBI. They continue to provide excellent support throughout the lifelong healing process. It would be a travesty to eliminate funding for this exceptional Association!”

 

“. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community. These funds are greatly needed,

 

Every 15 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a traumatic brain injury. Of the 1,000,000 people treated in hospital emergency rooms each year, 50,000 die and 80,000 become permanently disabled because of traumatic brain injury (TBI). This is higher than the combined incidence of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. 

Brain injuries occur more frequently than breast cancer or AIDS. One out of every fifty Americans is currently living with disabilities from TBI. There's even an association between head injury and Alzheimer's disease later in life.

And, you don't have to be knocked unconscious to sustain a brain injury. Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), also known as concussion, can damage your brain at the cellular level.”

 

 

“My son, is a (survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury or Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury) living in Ocala, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

Please see that the funding they need to operate there important and vital work is not lost in the budget cuts.”

 

 

“I am a friend of a brain injury survivor living in West Palm Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to his survival in the community.

 

I’m emailing you because I want the Governor to support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

I am a  Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in West Palm Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

 

I am a friend of a survivor with traumatic brain injury living in North Miami Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to their survival in the community.”

 

 

“I am a friend of family who has been impacted by Traumatic Brain Injury living in Tampa, Florida.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to the family's survival in their community.  Please continue to support them.”

 

 

I am a Caregiver of my Daughter who has a Brain Injury living in Jacksonville, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida is very critical to our community.
They provide lots of information and education for people who have just been afflicted with such tragedy. In the critical period after a traumatic brain injury, they can assist with the questions, and help everyone else in the family who is worried about a loved one. Also they help those with the brain injury deal with day-to-day life and the aftermath of the injury sustained. Thank you.”

 

 

“. . . I am a close friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Tampa, Florida. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my friend's survival in the community. I graduated law school with _________, who unfortunately was injured in a severe car accident in our final year of law school. I have witnessed first hand how critical BIA has been to _____ and his family during this trying time. It is imperative that Governor Scott not cut the funding for this vital organization. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any follow up questions. I look forward to hearing that Governor Scott has not cut the funding.”

 

I am the sister of a survivor of a Traumatic Brain Injury living in Vero Beach, Fl. Brain Injury is critical to my sister's survival in the community. “

 

“. . .I am a professional who works with individuals and their caregivers who are living with Traumatic Brain Injury in Jacksonville, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida is critical to individuals and families for their needs. Please support funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

“. . .  I am a (survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury or Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury) living in _Orlando__, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

I personally am not a survivor but I think there are plenty other areas to cut funding other than this one, every day thousands/millions of people suffer from some sort of brain injury, it’s horrible to think this would be a place you would consider to cut funding!”

 

 

“. . . I am a (Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury) living in Boca Raton, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

 

“I am a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Palm Beach, FL.  

I went to high school with _________, who spent the past three years rehabilitating from a traumatic brain injury. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to his survival in the community.

Please Support Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001 for funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

“. . .I am the parent of a survivor of Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Vero Beach, FL.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to our survival in the community.

 

My daughter was injured in 2003, and the Brain Injury Association of Florida has been so helpful to our entire family.  Please make sure that they can continue to support the 210,000 survivors and their families in the future.  I can't imagine facing the daunting task of helping my daughter to recover without their help.”

 

 

“I am a friend of a survivor of a Traumatic Brain Injury and I live in Miami, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my friend's survival in the community.”

 

 

“I am a friend of Traumatic Brain Injury survivor living in Palm Beach, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to his survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . .I am a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Palm Beach Gardens , FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to his survival in the community. Please support this provision.”

 

 

“. . .  I am a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury or Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Palm City, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my friend's survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . . I am a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Jupiter, Florida.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my friends survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . . I am a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury or Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Palm City, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my friend's survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . . I am a family member of someone with a  Traumatic Brain Injury living in Oviedo, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my sisters survival in the community.

 

5 years ago my younger sister’s boyfriend tried to brutally murder her with a sledge hammer to her face and head rendering her severe brain damage.  It was truly a miracle that she survived this horrible attack.  With the help of BIAF she has been able to get her life back piece by piece.  I am asking you not to pull the funds because her getting her life back is something she is willing to fight for.  Thank you for taking the time to listen.”

 

 

I am aware of the excellent work the BIA has done and the services to those with severe brain injuries. I request that financial support be given this organization to continue the excellent work and services it provides to those who have suffered severe brain injuries and their families. It has made a life supporting difference to a friend of our family for almost three years.  Please support this organization that is so very valuable to Floridians in need.”

 

 

. . . my son has suffered from a sports related concussion.  I believe the efforts of the Brain Injury Association of Florida are instrumental in bringing attention to these important and common brain injuries so that we can have better treatment and fewer long term effects on our children.”

 
 

. . .  I am a Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 
 

“. . . my son is a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor living in Tallahassee, FL. This agency has been helpful for many TBI survivors.”

 

 “. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury and I am also a teacher if children with Traumatic Brain Injuries living in Jacksonville, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to the survival of multiple people in my life and their progress and success in the community. Please do not cut funding in this area. “

 
 

. . . I am a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Tampa, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my friend's survival in the community.”

 
 

“We are friends of a parent of a brain injury survivor living in Hollywood, FL.   The Brain Injury Association has been critical to the family’s managing  through an extremely trying time. “

 
 

“. . .I am a family member of a traumatic brain injury survivor, residing in Tallahassee, Florida.

 

The Florida Brain Injury Association has been crucial to our family. There is no handbook for what to do when something terrible like this happens to a loved one...we would be completely lost without the help from this fine organization.”

 
 

“During my third year of law school, my best friend and fellow law student was in an accident that changed my life and of course, his forever.  _________ is the most vivacious, intelligent, hilarious, and entertaining person that I have ever met. He is a conservative republican who, the summer before our scheduled graduation, he completed an internship at Searcy Law Firm in West Palm Beach.

 

When his vehicle flipped Labor Day weekend his brain suffered from Diffuse Axonal Injury. Basically, his brain shook so furiously in head that his brain that, as a defense mechanism, his brain was flooded with neurotoxin and shut down to repair itself. He looked like Terri Schiavo just weeks after the accident. While discussing the situation with classmates, most people just said "pull the plug," or " I don't want to live like that." Sadly, I agreed because I didn't understand his ability to heal. I, like may others, thought the same. Once Devin came out of his coma, 8 months later we realized that Devin's mind was completely cognizant of what was happening. Once he regained his speech, we learned that he remembered the accident, he still had his sense of humor, but he was completely trapped in his incapacitated body.

 

My point is that we know so little about the human brain and brain injuries. The Brain Injury Association of Florida is one of the few organizations dedicated to education and research. God forbid, you or a loved one experience the same kind of injury, an uneducated person may think the best choice is end of life. 

 

Traumatic Brain Injuries could happen to anyone.  I am a very good friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, and a constituent living in Jacksonville, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my friend's survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . . my husband is a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury and I am now a Caregiver of a loved one with a Traumatic Brain Injury living in Boynton Beach, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

The BIAF was a strong referral source and offered much needed emotional support in my time of crisis. The continuation of these services was a crucial part of getting through the toughest of times after my husband suffered a TBI. They continue to provide excellent support throughout the lifelong healing process. It would be a travesty to eliminate funding for this exceptional Association!”

 

 

“. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Jupiter, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my family member's survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . . I am a family member/care taker (wife) of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Orlando, FL. My husband had a bad fall from a tree accident in May 2011, was in ORMC Trauma Hospital from May 17 - June 30.  _______ was in a coma from May 17 till June 15 and in their step down program until June 30 at that time he was transported  to inpatient rehab at Lucerne till August 2nd. 

 

He had broken every bone in back, fracture 4 ribs, shattered  his L4  (which required surgery) puncture a lung and has a TBI.  He is here with us today and is truly a miracle.  He is continuing with out patient therapy at Dr. Phillips Hospital.

As I was contacted by the Florida Department of Health on July 8th by Undray Peters, I haven't have any assistance provided to me from them as of date.  I feel that others will benefit from the BIAF program.  I hope that the program will continue for those that are less fortunate.”

 

 

“A dear friend of mine suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of an automobile accident several years ago.  It is important for families like theirs to have this resource available. I am pleading that the funding remains in the budget.”

 

 “. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in West Palm Beach , FL. The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my son's survival in the community.

They have provided constant support and direction to an overwhelmed mother when caring for her brain injured son. Wendy Waldman of BIAF has helped me to find many of the everyday necessities to care for my son.  She has been so caring and supportive to me and to my child. Please keep this organization intact, they are critical to my family's survival.”

 
 

. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Bonita Springs, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 
 

“. . .  I am a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury or Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury) living in North Palm Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my friend’s survival in the community.  Please please PLEASE do not cut off funding to this necessary program.”

 

 

“ . . . I suffered a TBI on DEC. 17th 1994. Although I continue to suffer with Paralysis and emotional issues it is easy to see that I have improved drastically. I have used the services of BIAF to help me improve my life. They have assisted me to get a college education and help me learn how to live independently.

 

The members of BIAF put their hearts and souls into helping people who have TBI'S. I feel that it is ridiculous that any Government would take away Medical services that is needed by any of our disabled communities. We live a limited lifestyle and we need the assistance of BIAF to help us function in society. We are citizens of our state as well as citizens of our great nation. Most of us were tax paying citizens and some of us (such as myself) suffered our TBI injuries by the actions of drunk drivers. Iam asking you from all of my heart not to take BIAF away from my life. I need their services to help me function and to continue improving from TBI injuries.”

 

 

. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Pompano Beach, Fl.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to our daughter's survival in the community.  I live far away and I without the support of the Brain Injury Association of Florida, I don't know what would have happened to my daughter.  They were always there for her to support her and guide her in the right direction.  I can't thank them enough for all that they did for her and continue to do for her. “

 

 

“. . . I am the wife and caregiver of a survivor with a Traumatic Brain Injury. We live in St Petersburg FL. The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been a tremendous help and a critical player during the past  7 1/2 years of my husband's recovery.

 Every year more and more is being discovered about how the brain works and newer treatments are showing dramatic promise. It is critical that TBI sufferers and their families continue to receive support from BIAF.

 No one can tell you what it is like to live with a TBI survivor or prepare you for the dramatic change it brings to your life and that of your family.

Governor Scott, I am asking you to please support line 580 of the GAA HB 5001 for funding for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

 

My son sustained a TBI (traumatic brain injury) on September 5, 2009. He was in a coma for months and we thought we lost him forever. He has made slow but steady progress over the past few years and he has been helped significantly by BIAF. I am asking Governor Scott to support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brain Association of Florida. Who is more deserving than these patients who are trying to put their life back together? Answer, no one!!”

 

 

“. . . I am a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury or Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in West Palm Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to his survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Lauderhill, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community. The Family-Care Specialist they assigned to me was able to give me the resources needed throughout my recovery. She has also helped me be able to recover as well as I have and get reconnected to the community I lived in before I was injured in August 2006 (such as school, work, driving, etc). So, please allow them the funding to give the same resources to current and future survivors!”

 

 

My name is ___________, a Speech-Language Pathologist from Pembroke Pines Florida, who provides services to patients with Traumatic Brain InjuryI’ve been a witness of the critical services the Brain Injury Association of Florida provides to our South Florida community. Services such as funding Community Re-entry programs including higher level cognitive therapy and vocational therapy to succesfuly reincorporate patients back into the community; back to their jobs and/or school/college. The state needs the Brain Injury Association of Florida. Funding the Brain Injury Association is an investment for the state. The Brain Injury Association of Florida give these patients a greater chance to regain their independence into a productive life, and certainly are less likely to become a financial burden to the state. 

 

Please support funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida.

 

 

. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Tampa, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

I survived my injury in 2009 and still have pain daily.  I have struggles such as comprehension, multi-tasking, loss of taste and smell among others.  Without BIA of FL, I wouldn't know a lot of the critical information about my injury.  In addition, friends and family members are able to learn more about my condition through this organization.”

 

 

“. . .I am a (survivor with traumatic brain injury, family member of a survivor with traumatic brain injury or caregiver of traumatic brain injury) living in west palm beach, FL. Brain injury association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Wellington, Florida.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.  Their services not only were an imperative part of my rehabilitation and recovery, but were also a source of education and support for my family after my car accident left me with a severe traumatic brain injury.”

 

 

“I have also called.  My father, a vet, died from a brain injury.  Services provided by BIAF are critical to people who are facing not only the trauma but the long-term aftermath.  We do not have another organization providing that immediate help in the moments after the trauma.  The state program focuses more on spinal injuries…but it is the brain injury that happens more often.  With an elderly population like Florida has – it is likely to be a greater occurrence --one that needs to be managed and supported or else our healthcare system, i.e. emergency rooms will start receiving  more visits and requests for more help from the 210,000 living with TBI in Florida.

 Yes, I am familiar with BIAF.  Am I biased, yes.  I have seen what they do and the difference that is made.  Without this kind of help – you turn your back on our most helpless.  Pray God that you never have to face these kind of circumstances in your life.  But should that terrible thing happen – you would want these people in place and waiting to help you in that the worst moments of your life.

 PLEASE SUPPORT LINE 580!!”

 
 “. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury & a caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Fruitland Park, FL.

Please do not cut funding to Traumatic Brain Injury. People with Brain Injury have very few options for care or help. All the state wants to do is put my son in with the mentally ill and his problems are entirely different from someone suffering from mental illness.”

 

 “ . . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Key West, FL. I am most grateful for Brain Injury Association of Florida for helping my husband and I in our time of need. Until it happens to you or a loved one, you have no idea just how much they can mean.”

 
 

“My name is Sean Orr, I am writing to you in both a personal and professional capacity to express my support for the continued appropriation of funds for the Brain Injury Association of Florida, Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001.

 On the personal side, years ago, my family was devastated by serious head injury on two occasions.  As a young man, my brother sustained a closed head injury that cost him two years of his life while he recovered slowly.  Some years later, my son sustained a sports-related blow to the head which caused him to develop seizures from bleeding into his brain.  In neither case was the Brain Injury Association of Florida in existence, and our family floundered to find help, to find answers and guidance, or to simply know how to handle the devastating effects of these tragedies.

 Both of these events inspired me to become a Neurologist.  And years later, I find myself a physician specializing in the nervous system.  Indeed, I have dedicated my life to the well being of persons afflicted with brain injury.  I have been the team Neurologist for the Jacksonville Jaguars since 2009, and I was heavily involved in the process of protecting the team from unnecessary liability from the effects of unrecognized and untreated concussion.  In addition to working independently with the NFL and the NFL Players Association, I have been heavily involved in the Jacksonville Sports Medicine Program, educating our youth and encouraging them to use strategies to protect themselves from unnecessary brain injury.  When these young athletes sustain concussions, I have worked with them to get them back on their feet faster than ever, and in a safe fashion.

 When I learned of the Brain Injury Association of Florida, I immediately signed on as a member of the Board of Directors.  Where before the number of people I could help was limited by my own clinical bandwidth, I now feel that I am in a position to have a dramatically positive effect on hundreds of thousands of our civilians.  Indeed, I have referred many student athletes, trauma victims, and others who have suffered traumatic brain injury to the BIAF, and it has always made a huge difference in their recovery and the sanity of their families.

 I only wish the BIAF had been around when my brother was injured so many years ago – his life would have been dramatically improved.  Indeed, the BIAF does so much good for so many people, it would be a real loss to our state’s public health to see it dismantled.

 Governor Scott, I have been one of your most fervent supporters, along with my good friend, Daniel Kantor, M.D., the President of the Florida Neurological Association.  I hope you can join me in continuing to support the Brain Injury Association of Florida through continued appropriation of funds on line 580.”

 

 

“. . .  I am a social worker who works daily with people and families of people with traumatic brain injuries. I see daily the impact the Brain Injury Association makes on people, their families and the community.  I’m emailing you because I would like the Governor to support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brain Injury Association of Florida. Thank you for your time.”

 
 

 . . . I am a (survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury or Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury) living in Pensacola, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

       I have been recovering from a terrible accident for a couple of years.  I nearly lost my life by getting run over by a vehicle.  I was in a coma for several weeks and had to relearn how to do everything again.  Once I was transferred back home, I learned how to live again.  It has taken me about a year of being home again to have common sense.

       Without the help of the great, awesome people that work with the people with tramatic brain injury, my life would be tremendous  loss.  I have learned to live happily and smartly through the BIAF of Pensacola, FL.  Please keep this group open for the benefit of every one that has been in a similar situation.  Without this being around, thousands of people would be harmed and saddened.”

 

 

“. . . I am a  family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury  living in Englewood, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my brother's survival in the community.

Any time I've had a problem or question regarding my brother's care, the staff at the Brain Injury Association of Florida have responded quickly and at least pointed me in the right direction and most times they actually make phone calls for me and take care of any issues that arise.  And believe me, when you are head-injured and under 65 in the state of Florida, it's very difficult to find respect from people.  Thank God for the wonderful folks at BIAF!!!!”

 
 

“Please ask Governor Scott to provide funding for helping brain-injured citizens of Florida find appropriate housing and care.  If the Brain Injury Foundation of Florida is not doing this, then please require that their function change to focus on finding homes and care for Floridians with brain injuries.  Please DO continue to find them for this purpose. 

 

My 48-year-old son has suffered traumatic brain injury and is much improved, but his only care option is to live in a nursing home with seniors.  Why doesn't Florida have a better place for him and the many other young men and women like him?”

 

 “. . . I am a Neuropsychology, Doctoral Student. Currently I'm doing my internship with traumatic brain Injury patients and I have learned the importance of working with survivors and their families. I live in Miami, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

 . . . I am a family member and caregiver of a survivor with Anoxic Brain Injury  living in Boca Raton, FL.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

I understand that funding for support groups for traumatic brain injury victims is about to be cut. My mother had brain surgery and I was her caregiver for many years. The need for help for these people is so great.

 

Please do all you can to support those caring for people with traumatic brain injuries or other dsabling illnesses. You have no idea the toll it takes on families. If not for people like me, the state would end up caring for our loved ones. Not withstanding the need for compassion and humanity for those who often have no one to speak for them,it makes more sense to enable people to live as independently as possible than to exist in an institution at state expense!”

 

“. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Tallahassee, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

I could not be where I am today had it not been for the BIAF and my case worker with the BIAF.  Without the BIAF I would most likely still be living off disability pay with post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression.  The BIAF helped me get the critical help I needed in recovery and now I am a 4.0 student on the presidents list at Tallahassee Community College and will be applying to the RN program next spring.  I could not have achieved this without the help of the BIAF and I can’t imagine why you would put a stop to this program- It is literally saving lives!”

 

 

“. . .my husband suffered a brain injury do to a motorcycle accident.  I can’t begin to explain the amount of help Wendy and the BIAF has been to my husband and family.  His recovery could never have been as complete without their help.  We are indebted to them extremely!

 Please do not cancel your funding for this program it is vital to all brain injured patients.  As it is there is not enough help as we have been through this exact problem in trying to get  help.  help is limited and that organization is invaluable.

  Please reconsider....life and quality of life is important.”

 
 

“. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in ft lauderdale, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 
 

“As a former Board member of The Brain Injury Association of Florida and a long time advocate of community based services to persons whom have sustained a brain injury and their families, please do not allow the veto of funding to BIAF for on going support services to individuals and their families.”

 
 

Please be sure not to de-fund these important services. To do that is to completely throw out the people with brain injuries.  They need this in order to simply function in ways that we take for granted!

Make sure that Governor Scott understands this.”

 

 

“I was informed that the Governor’s Staff has recommended Brain Injury Association of Florida’s funding in the budget to be vetoed by the Governor.

I am a member of BIAF and became one after I had suffered a serious brain injury from a traffic accident.

 I needed 1 year of only basic recovery from a 12 hour/day program set up by a TBI recovery group in Orlando. This BIAF organization is important to assist the many people who require recovery.

 I request that this recommendation be evaluated again.”

 
 

“. . . I am a Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Jacksonville, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to our survival in the community.

 

We have so many success stories here at Brooks. Please take a moment to look at our website (www.brookshealth.org) and read some of our amazing patient success stories. I have a Therapy Assist Service Dog named Aspen here at Brooks that spends a great amount of time loving and being loved by our Brain Injury Patients. Without organizations like BIAF, these patients won’t be able to succeed. Their lives are turned around by the care that we are able to provide them thanks to the BIAF. Please don’t veto funding without first walking in their shoes. You’ll be taking away the possibility for a long, healthy, loving life.”

 

 

“. . . I AM A ACQUIRED BRAIN INJURY SURVIVOR,LIVING IN BAY COUNTY,FL.  I HAD 4 STROKES, AND TWO HEAD Surgeries LOST MY LEFT SIDE, AND BRAIN  INJURY.  THE MONEY YOU ARE MESSING WITH IS MESSING WITH MY RECUPERATION. OUR BRAIN INJURY SCHOOL,SECOND CHANCE,HAS REALLY IMPROVED MY LIFE I AM NOT DONE WITH MY RECUPERATION.”

 

 

“. . . I am a family member and Caregiver of a survivor with a Traumatic Brain Injury living in Sunrise, FL.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to our survival in the community.

 In 2001, when my brother suffered a TBI, there were very few resources available.  There were no "How To" guides explaining "What to do or expect", "How to handle", "Who to call, etc.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been one of those few invaluable organizations for locating and connecting with resources in our community, support groups and healthcare legislation, to name just a few.  Choosing to veto funding for the BIAF leaves many survivors and their families without the hope and support that is so needed.  

 On behalf of my brother, . . .a TBI survivor, his 13 year old daughter a and my parents, who act as primary caregivers, I write this letter to you.  We ask that you reconsider your decision.  Thank you for your time”

 
 

“I am writing on behalf of the friends I have met who have sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury.  Please support this bill (in subject line) – these folks need and deserve our support!”

 

 

“. .  I am a family member of a survivor with a Traumatic  Brain Injury living in Tallahassee, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my nephew, __________'s survival in the community.

 _________ was in a terrible car accident in February, 2010.  We know that it is a miracle that he survived the accident and has progressed so well.  He still has a ways to go but we are told we can expect a full recovery in time.   Michael is only 27 years old.  I don't know where he - or we his family - would be without the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 “. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Jacksonville FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida is the only resource for helping people with brain injuries.  If anything, Governor Scott should be directing more money to meet the life long living needs of this growing population.  Brain injury is the leading cause of disability, bar none and there are no services to meet the needs of this huge population.  What is Governor Scott  thinking…does he have a hole in his head???”

 

 

“. . . I am an applied behavior analysis graduate student who volunteers at a day program for individuals with brain injuries - Second Chance of Northwest Florida in Panama City, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to this organization as it provides funding to keep this non-profit going. This association also provides ongoing education to Second Chance at their yearly convention that is essential in order to serve the clients effectively. Cutting funding would be a great disservice to Second Chance and other similar programs throughout the state.

 

 

. . . I am a neuropsychologist who works with survivors of  Traumatic Brain Injury at the Rehab Institute of South Florida in Hollywood, FL. I also run a support group for caregivers and survivors of TBI in affiliation with the local chapter of the Traumatic Brain Injury Association of Florida. This organization has been vital to the support of my patients and their families and I urge you to support continued funding for BIAF. Please encourage Governor Scott to support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

“. . . and I have been a caregiver and friend of traumatic brain injured people in Lake Worth, Fl.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to their survival in the community. “

 

 

“. . . I am a friend of a Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Parkland, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to her family's survival in the community.

 

BIAF has been extremely helpful to my friend and her family in providing coping strategies and suggestions for how to handle different behaviors of the family member with Traumatic Brain Injury.  Another area of concern where there will be a void if funding is discontinued is the work BIAF does with training coaches how to avoid traumatic brain injury in athletes.  Please continue funding this important program. “

 

 

“. . .I am a nurse and a professional that has worked with brain injured individuals and their families for the past 18 years. I have also had the pleasure of working with BIAF on various levels within the organization. BIAF has  provided support, education and resources to these individuals and their families that have had their lives turned upside down in a matter of seconds after a brain injury occurs.

 All of the citizens of this state are at risk for a brain injury. These injuries  occur most often from an unexpected fall or from a motor vehicle accident. Brain injury is called the ‘silent epidemic”. I implore the Governor to support Line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

“. . . and a close personal friend of mine is a survivor of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Hollywood, FL.  My friend has already contacted you regarding the importance of funding for the Brain Injury Association of Florida. _______ is a highly intelligent, young man who possesses strong business acumen. He has a very bright future ahead of him and will continue to be an asset to the Hollywood community. If he feels strongly enough about this issue to contact me about it then I think the State of Florida and Governor Rick Scott should listen to him and others who have been helped by the Brain Injury Association of Florida. Sometimes, the only person who understands the pain is someone who has experienced the same trauma. Please ask Governor Rick Scott to find resources to fund this organization.”

 

  I am writing in regards to the Brain Injury Association of Fla.  Our son was seriously hurt riding a Bull when he was 16.  He suffered frontal lobe damage, we were not aware  of Traumatic Brain Injury until 15 years later. This accident has totally changed his life and he is now in prison serving a 9 year sentence on drug related charges.  We only learned of TBI two years ago and had a Neurological evaluation on our son and it proved he suffers from TBI. 

 The Brain Injury Association does wonderful work for people like our son. We just discovered them after our son was in jail. They could have helped us help of son!!

 We ask that you please support GAA HB 5001 and not cut the funding for the Brain Injury Association of Florida”

 

 

“. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Jacksonville, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community. I received benefits after my brain injury and am now working at Brooks helping others who have sustain brain injury.”

 

 

“I work with children and families everyday in our efforts to prevent injury to children in Palm Beach County.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has helped us reach many families by providing support and equipment like helmets to families in need. Prevention is the key the more we raise awareness before a tragedy occurs the more chances we have of saving a family from dealing with life long brain injuries that drain our health care system of necessary funds over a long period of time.”

 

 

“. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Pompano Beach, FL.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to our daughter’s survival in the community.    Living so far away from our daughter, I don’t know what we or she would have done without the support of the Traumatic Brain Injury Association of Florida.  They have truly given our daughter’s life back to her.  We are so grateful.”

 

 

“. . . I am a  family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury  living in  Port St. Lucie,  FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my cousin's survival in the community.

After she was viciously beaten over the head with a baseball bat, she would never have survived without the assistance of the Brain Injury Association of Florida.  It took lots of time and patience to bring her back to somewhat of a normal life, but could have never done it on her own.”

 

 

“. . .  I am a close friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury or Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury) living in West Palm Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to his survival in the community. Please do not veto the support for the Brain Injury Association.”

 

 

“. . . I work with Traumatic Brain Injury patients living in West Palm Beach, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida is critical to my providing services for the survival of individuals in the community.”

 

 

. . . I'm a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Gainesville, FL.

Brain Injury Association of Florida (BIAF) has been critical to the survival of those served by this organization; the State's support of BIAF is essential to support the great work that they do for our citizens who need their services. I have personally seen that the support BIAF provides to brain-injured individuals can make the difference in those people being highly-functioning members of society rather than a burden. This is a classic win-win that makes sense for us all.”

 

 

As a volunteer at Second Chance of Northwest Florida in Panama City, I would like to voice my support against the proposed budget cuts for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.  Seeing the progress the indviduals have made at Second Chance first hand, I would hate to see a halt or deterioration of progress due to inadequate funding.  They are already working with a very tight budget and cannot continue to  provide services to the residence of Bay County without the support of BAIF.  Investing in this population is worth our tax dollars.  Please support Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001 for funding for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

“. . . I am a Behavior Analyst who works with Traumatic Brain Injury survivors living in Panama City, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to this community.”

 

 

“I am a friend of a parent of a brain injury survivor living in Hollywood, FL.   The Brain Injury Association has been critical to the family’s managing  through an extremely trying time. “

 

 

“I am an FSU Panama City Undergraduate student working as a volunteer for Second CHance of Northwest Florida, a traumatic Brain Injury clinic here in Panama City, FL.  The members of this clinic are so blessed to have any kind of financial support which is crucial for their recovery.  Second Chance in a non-profit organization which greatly needs the support from the Brain Injury Association of Florida. 

 

As a volunteer at Second Chance these members are dedicated to their recovery and would greatly appreciate any kind of help.  The funds provided by the Brain Injury Association of Florida are beneficial and much needed here at Second Chance.  Please do not take away from survivors of traumatic brain injuries.  They are loving, caring, and most importantly, striving to improve their quality of life.  Please reconsider your decision of taking away funds from organizations like Second Chance; the impact will be nothing but devastating.”

 

 

“I am a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Broward County, Florida. The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my friend's survival in the community.

Please support Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001 for funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury,  living in Cantonment, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

They helped me find doctors that would accept my insurance and even helped pay for medication that my insurance would not cover.  The BIAF is a much needed support for TBI people and their caregivers. Please continue to fund them.”

 

 

“. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Havana FL. But I was helped by the Brain Injury Association of Florida when I was living in Brevard County and it has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

 

. .  I am a friend of Traumatic Brain Injury victim living in Miami, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to their survival in the community.

 

I have been made aware of your recommendation to Governor Scott regarding the cut in funding for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.  It is essential that the funding remains in the budget.  It is my understanding the BIAF's staff has been a vital component in navigating  and surviving.”

 

 

“. . . I am a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Hollywood, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to his survival in the community.

 

_________ is just learning how to survive and trying to live an independent life due to a stroke he suffered last year. I’m writing you because I want the Governor to support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brain Injury Association of Florida. Brain Injury Association of Florida’s support has been critical to Jeff and his family. Thank you for your attention to my concern.”

 

 

“. . .  I am a (survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury) I move around every chance I get. However, I am presently living in Pensacola, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my ~readjustment~ to the community.

 

I am a Very Positive Person by nature... And my BI just allows me to focus on the good things in LIFE. I always see the good things. And I know I am grateful to feel like that. But as I go through the steps I see many people that do not share my outlook. And it is for the large majority of BI Victims that this email is hoping to show my support of.”

 

 

 . . . I am 22 years old and I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Lakeland, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

On September 18, 2010 I suffered injuries due to a terrible auto accident on I-75.  If it wasn't for the wonderful care I received at Tampa General Hospital, and the support of the Florida Brain Injury Assoc., I don't what would have happened to me.  I received so much support and got the critical care that I needed through out patient rehab at Esteem ( a part of Winter Haven Hospital), thanks to the FL Brain Injury Assoc. ( My insurance only covered a small part of this.) 

 

I received damage to both frontal lobes and suffered from memory loss, processing and conceptual problems, as well as depression.  Because of the care I received, I am now back in college and about to complete my AA degree from Polk State College. I am truly grateful for the support and help I received and know that this program works and is necessary to help people like me. I would appreciate your consideration and help in keeping this program going for others who suffer as I did.”

 

 

“. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Pembroke Pines, FL. My younger brother survived a gun shot wound to his head over three years ago. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to his survival in the community. Please Support Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001 for funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

. . .  I am a Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Saint Petersburg, FL.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in this community with this very difficult task.”

 

 

“. . . I am a Public Health Practioner and the Palm Beach County Safe Kids Program Director, living in Lake Worth, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

The BIAF has helped many of families directly and indirectly through programs, education, and outreach.  TBI’s are a lifelong injury that affects not just the victim but the entire family.  The work that BIAF does makes a difference and their funding is critical to Palm Beach County. 

Please support the BIAF and their funding.”

 

 

“. . . Im a survivor with traumatic brain  injury living in panama city Florida.Brain injury association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.
Brain Injury association of  Florida  is important to me because I see each person that has a disability like me doing activities  such chair volleyball Frisbee toss  technology arts and craft and dance”

 

 

“. . . I work with several individual who are Traumatic Brain Injury survivors living in Jacksonville, FL.  I am writing to object to the proposed cuts to the budget that would reduce or eliminate funding for this program. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to the survival of many individuals in this community.”

 

 

“. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury liiving in Plantation,  FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to her survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . . I am a licensed psychologist living in Pensacola, FL.  I work with survivors of Brain Injury and the Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to the survival of my patients in the community.  The local BIAF Resource Facilitation Coordinator, Susan Grundhoefer, provides tremendous support and assistance to survivors and their families. 

 The majority of people with TBI do not require inpatient care and so do not qualify for services from the state Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program.  The BIAF Coordinator assists families with navigating the difficult road of Traumatic Brain Injury aftercare.  She is an important link to getting people back to work or to Vocational Rehabilitation so they can return to work.

 It behooves the Governor to support this integral program.  When one survivor returns to a productive life, all of the citizens of the state of Florida benefit.  I hope you will join with me in supporting funding for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 “. . .  my granddaughter is a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury. We live in Jacksonville, Florida. The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to our survival in the community.

 The Brain Injury Association of Florida was a lifeline when I was learning to be a caregiver, and an advocate for brain injury survivors. The encouragement and support our granddaughter Katelyn has received is irreplaceable.”

 

 

“. . . and I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury. We live in Jacksonville, Florida. The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to our survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . . I am a Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Coral Gables, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to the survival of my husband.

 In December  2006 my husband sustained a brain injury while hanging Christmas lights.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida funded my husband's therapy after he got out of the hospital.  Thanks to that, he is independent, although he still cannot work.

Please support the funding to the Brain Injury Association of Florida.  There are many Floridians who need the help during this extremely process.”

 

 

“. . . I am a  family member of a  Caregiver of Traumatic Brain njury)   Organic/Traumatic Brain Injury living in Tampa_, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

  I want the Governor to support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

“. . . I am a  family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury or Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in BROWARD COUNTY , FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community. Please help our cause. Thanks.

 

A little brief story of my father;

He was a hard working man, always working 40-70 hours a week (age 61) and unfortunately he had a horrible accident at work and

his brain was injured as well as some of his body but it was mostly his brain. He had severe hematoma's, and his front as well as back brain was severly injured, in which today he still suffer's horrible headaches, his cognitive skills are very low/poor and day by day it has been very very difficult for all of us.

 

I was lucky to have found Wendy over at the Brain Injury Association, and she and her group was very supporting in our hardest time and without her and her office I have no idea where I could have gone for; support, information, and well not to feel alone.  It is important for you to help and to support the Brain Injury Association, we hope you do.”

 

 

“. . . I have worked with caregivers of FL residents who haveTraumatic Brain Injury.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to these patients' survival in the community.”

 

“. . . I am a Caregiver of person with a Traumatic Brain Injury living in Safety Harbor, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

My husband suffered a TBI at work 4 years ago and we access the BIA of Florida for resources, research, and a community that understands what we go through on a day to day basis and for the rest of our lives.  I strongly encourage you, the Governor, and the state to continue to support the BIA and all of the Floridians that need it.”

 

 

“I learned today of the Governor's plan to veto funding for the Florida Brain Injury Association.  I hope he will reconsider. 

This is a worthy organization. Recent national news about research into the magnitude of head injuries for children and others  who play football and other sports at school or in after school programs make this organization even more essential in educating the public about prevention and serving families who have a member who suffers from this serious trauma. “

 

 

. . . I am a certified brain injury specialist living in Hollywood, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been a critical resource to survivors of a brain injury and their families in my community and throughout the state of Florida.  Please support their funding.”

 

 

I am a friend of a parent of a brain injury survivor living in Hollywood, FL.   The Brain Injury Association has been critical to the family’s managing  through an extremely trying time. “

 

 

“I am a R.N. and I am also an Attorney who has had the privilege of representing individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury and I live and practice in Palm Beach County  I am writing to support the Brian Injury Association of Florida – they are an organization who has helped number of individuals and families survive a most difficult and challenging injury .  Without organizations such as this one, families are often left without any guidance- sometimes causing a depletion of other state and federal resources.

 

Please Support Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001 for funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

“. . . and I am the parent of a brain injury survivor living in Hollywood, FL.  Brain Injury Association of FL has been critical to my negotiating through this  extremely trying time.  Wendy Waldman of the BIA has been especially  helpful and essential to my ability to cope with this situation.”

 

 

“. . . I am a friend of survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Coconut Creek, FL.  I have seen the Brain Injury Association of Florida been critical to their survival in the community. With the lack of resources, I have seen the Brain Injury Association of Florida be their only source of support and assistance. Thank you for your attention to this matter.”

 

 

“I work for Gulfstream Goodwill in West Palm Beach, Florida.   Our organization provides post-acute brain injury services to about 20 individuals per year.  Typically, we have funding for 2 or 3 of those individuals so most of our services are provided free of charge to brain injury survivors who have no way to pay for services.  We maintain a waiting and attempt to serve those individuals who have the greatest need.  Florida offers very little in the way of services for individuals with brain injuries and the State of Florida offers even less to those individuals who end up with long term disabilities and dependent on Medicaid. 

 Nearly every day I receive calls from individuals and family members who are desperately seeking services, guidance and assistance in navigating the system so they can access any resources that may be available to them. In many cases these are individuals who have sustained cognitive impairments and therefore require ongoing and intensive support to obtain the services they need to survive in their community.  I direct these individuals to our region’s Resource Facilitation Coordinator from the Brain Injury Association of Florida.  She is very familiar with the availability and eligibility criteria of the services in our area and is able to connect individuals and their families with the services they need to survive in their community. 

 The Resource Facilitation Coordinator from the Brain Injury Association of Florida in many cases is the only support individuals with brain injuries and their families have.  She is their link to all other services and she is the person who helps them access community resources.  Please do not cut funding for the Brain Injury Association!!”

 

 

“. . .I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Englewood, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 I suffered my brain injury several years ago in an auto accident.  I moved down here because there are better services available.  BIAF has been a huge help to me by helping me navigate the very complicated medical system here.  They are also in the process of helping me with my educational needs and/or employment needs.”

 

“ I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to the survival of many people in the State of Florida.

 I have personally seen people who have been aided tremendously by BIAF which has allowed them to survive and create a decent life for themselves after brain injury. Perhaps Gov. Scott would consider foregoing his salary as Governor since he is already an extremely wealthy man who has made it clear that he does not like big government and state assistance.Why then, should he receive a salary paid by Florida's tax payers while innocent people with brain injuries are forced to suffer because they don't fit into his "bottom line".

 Our society is judged on how we treat our most vulnerable members. If Gov. Scott takes away BIAF funding, he should be considered a failed leader of our society in Florida. If he takes away funding for BIAF, I'll gladly vote for anyone running against him and I'll gladly campaign on their behalf.

 Have a nice day, make the right choice.”

 

 

I am writing to ask Governor Scott to Support Line 580 of the GAA for the brain injured.   I have volunteered with the brain injured in Central Florida for over ten years and know their plight well.  I am writing as an advocate and also as the ADA Coordinator of Orange County who responds to a myriad of questions for the disability population in Central Florida and at times from other cities and counties each day.

 

I have seen much good come from lobbying.   I see how the Governor’s office supports people with disabilities and has met challenges during the past legislative sessions.    There are 12,000 people with varying degrees of brain injury that require long term care and few have it available to them right here in Central Florida and throughout the State.   The majority of these folks are not registered with the Brain Injury Association of Florida because their physicians or the hospital that have released them feel that they are Ok because they  look ok!   Families are left with few coping skills or caregiver supports as well.

 

The support group in Central Florida for which I volunteer two evenings a month and weekends receives 5-6 calls a week with drop-in visitors with brain injuries at its monthly meeting who are seeking information and treatment for their unmet needs.   Below are typical scenarios.

 

  1. “…I felt fine when I left the hospital and was given instructions, but then about two weeks later I began to have bad head aches and noticed more memory loss and due to age am ineligible for state assistance.   I have been turned down by social security so live with my family and they do as much for me as they can.
  2. I am mentally and physically challenged due to a head on collision when I was a nursing student in which I was a passenger.   I was not at fault.   I cannot speak, eat or drink without assistance.   I am on a wait list for waiver services.  One of my parents has had to quit their job to take care of me 24/7.
  3. I am ok, I’m not ok – I am skeptical about life and cannot hold down a job because since my brain injury I must write everything down.   I once had a job once and lost it, because I must write everything down that is a job duty or task.   This took too much time from my job and the supervisor was looking over my shoulder constantly.
  4. I had a brain injury 18 years ago.  I cannot work because of my emotions, memory lapses and pain.   I have a best friend who helps me a lot with daily reminders by telephone to keep me on task and in check with my emotions.   My medical coverage is very limited and I am unable to take medications because it messes me up.
  5. I am a veteran of Afghanistan.   I told my wife to leave me.   I still cannot sit down and feel insecure in new settings.  My wife and family are the best.  I hope I can get better.
  6. My husband is in intensive care and has not only a brain injury but has broken nearly every bone in his back.  He was trimming a palm trees and the ladder slipped and he fell on his back on the concrete.   I don’t know what I am going to do?
  7. I was once a motivational speaker, earning in the six figures, I was a math wizard and one spring day I was at a boating event and I slipped and hit my head when I fell.  I was rushed to the hospital and found to have a brain injury.   The doctors did their best and I was released with memory loss and tasks to keep an orderly day; however, I began having other symptoms and had to pay for tests with my own money as the insurance carrier would not authorize the treatment.  A special brain scan and testing found another brain injury for which I continue to suffer total loss of memory.   I must learn my past life through pictures and try to understand each day through my loving family…”.    These are but a few of the stories that I listen to Governor Scott.

 

A brain injured individual must be registered with the Florida Brain Injury Association and be a referral for services to be provided.  The quote, Brain & Spinal Cord Network does not seek improved benefits including the brain injured.   There is little funding to meet the needs of either.  The brain injured are a separate group of disabilities who fight for their pride, their dignity and their well being.   They also deserve long term care.   Please do not take away funding!!!!”

 

 

“. . .I am a the father of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Englewood, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to her survival in the community.

 

My daughter has been struggling with her Traumatic Brain Injury for almost 20 years.  It was due to an auto accident.  She had just graduated college with a BS in Business.  We helped her move down here because there are more comprehensive services available than where she was from.  The BIAF has been very helpful in helping her locate services and working with her to help her become employed long-term.  She just wants to be a tax-paying citizen again.  My grand-daughter also suffered a TBI from an auto accident.  BIAF has been very helpful in helping her find appropriate services because the medical system here is very complicated.”

 

 

“. . . I am a the mother of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Englewood, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to her survival in the community.

 

My daughter has been struggling with her Traumatic Brain Injury for almost 20 years.  It was due to an auto accident.  She had just graduated college with a BS in Business.  We helped her move down here because there are more comprehensive services available than where she was from.  The BIAF has been very helpful in helping her locate services and working with her to help her become employed long-term.  She just wants to be a tax-paying citizen again.  My grand-daughter also suffered a TBI from an auto accident.  BIAF has been very helpful in helping her find appropriate services because the medical system here is very complicated.”

 

 “. . . I am a mother of a survivor (daughter) with Traumatic Brain Injury and am also her Caregiver living in Panama City, FL.  Brain Injury Association ofFlorida has been critical to my daughter’s survival in the community.

My daughter attends a non-profit association Second Chance of Northwest Florida here in Panama City, this program was found by an employee of Brain Injury Association of Florida (BIAF) and I am eternally grateful for that; because if it wasn’t for BIAF finding Second Chance for my daughter she would have no where to go to learn things that were once second nature to her and no peers to associate with; so by ending any funding that BIAF receives will be detrimental to the lively hood for my child and other brain injured persons.”

 

 

. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Royal Palm Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

Brain Injury Association of Florida has helped me on my way to recovery and given me hopes of a future, Brain Injury Association of Florida continues to help me and have been my support line for when I need help working with other agencies within the community.”

 

 

. . . I am a Mother of a daughter who survived  a Traumatic Brain Injury (stroke) living in Coconut Creek, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

When my daughter had her stroke I would not have survived without their support and the information they supplied to me. Please do not take away their funding you may be in my shoes one day and realize how important they can be.”

 

 

“. . . I am a brother of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, Marty living in St Petersburg, FL.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my brothers’ survival in the community.

 

Without the Association, Marty’s recovery would have been very limited.

 

Please support this Association and let it continue to support in a unique way our/your wounded brothers and sisters.

 

This association’s help was instrumental in getting Marty able to live at home and not in an institution.”

 

 “It has come to my attention the the Governor's staff has recommended that the Brain Injury Association of Florida's budget should be vetoed.  As a member of the Florida Concussion Task Force I find this to be an unconscionable action.  The Florida legislature recently passed and has signed into law a bill to protect athletes from brain injury.  The Brain Injury Association has played a major and remarkable role in helping to not only rehabilitate these athletes, but anyone who has experienced a brain injury.  Many people who have suffered a brain injury have through the help of the Brain Injury Association of Florida are able to return to society to lead productive lives. 

 I strongly suggest that the Governor support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 
 

My son suffered a traumatic brain injury over two years ago and we are very grateful for the help and guidance that the Brain Injury Association of Florida provided us.

 I consider their efforts a good example of a governement program.  I saw no waste or fraud of any kind, just positive benefits for a set length of time.

 Please ask the governor to keep supporting this program.”

 

 

. . . I am a Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in St. Augustine, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

My husband fell from the roof of a 3 story building in 2007.  The BIAF has been a resource for me which has allowed me to no longer feel so alone.”

 

 

As a school psychologist in the state of Florida, I work with several students with Traumatic Brain Injury each year.  It is truly devastating for these kids.  One of the schools I work at is  Woodland Middle School in Sarasota County.  Just at that school,  one student is a survivor of Shaken Baby Syndrome and another was hit by a car while in a cross walk.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida is a critical connection for parents for support when these tragedies occur.  Please continue to support the families and victims.”

 

“. . . I am of a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Boca Raton, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to her survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury and Caregiver of a husband with a Traumatic Brain Injury, and we live in Lehigh Acres, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to his survival in the community.”

 

 

I am the mother of a 32 year old with a closed brain injury resulting from an aneurism.  Florida provides minimal supports and services for young adults with brain injuries and those are almost exclusively for traumatic injuries. 

 

This means that those whose injury resulted from a motorcycle crash and no helmet receive some assistance;  those who survived a medical crisis receive even less.

The Brain Injury Association of Florida (BIA) strives to provide guidance and support to all who are living with brain injuries, and their families, albeit with inadequate resources.  Perhaps this service seems insignificant, excepting when reviewing a budget.  Please recognize that this small financial investment represents a sliver of humanity in a state that too little values its citizens.  Please protect the funding for BIA.”

 

  . . . I am a doctoral student in clinical neuropsychology in Melbourne, FL. The Brain Injury Association of Florida provides critical services to brain injury survivors and their families, please support it's funding! Thank you for listening to my concern. “

 
 

. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury AND the Caregiver of my son who suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury living in Englewood, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

Had it not been for the BIA, he would be wasting away in facility.  He would never had the opportunity to recover to the degree he has and be as high functioning as he is now.  We attend a Brain Injury Support Group meeting every month and BIA is always represented to help our attendees with questions and concerns.  My son was hit by an 83 y/o lady with minimal limits of insurance.  Her insurance did not even cover the airlift to the trauma center and emergency room.  He was in the hospital 2.5 months and in an inpatient facility 3.5 months before I was able to bring him home to care for him.  BIA helped me with his therapy as well as making my home safe for him.

 

I also am the caregiver of another young lady who suffered a TBI.  Without the BIA, she would have been institutionalized for the rest of her life.  She was 38 years old when she was hurt.  She is still being helped by BIA.

Governor Scott made all his money off the healthcare system.  He should NOT EVEN CONSIDER eliminating the funding for BIA.  The organization is critical to our community.  BIA MUST BE funded to continue all the help they provide.”

 

 

. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury and Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury) living in _West Palm Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

In October 2006 both my kids were in a terrible accident that almost ended my sons life and put my daughter in a coma for 6 weeks and took away her chance for a full life, the person who caused this accident was not a citizen of this country, driving alone on a permit and minimal insurance. Legally they were off the hook to pay for any damages and only got two moving violations. If it wasn’t for programs like the Brain Injury Association of Florida my family would not have survived.”

 

 

I am a friend of __________, who is living in Orlando Florida, and is a survivor of a traumatic brain injury. She has relied heavily on the support that Brain Injury Association of Florida provides in a variety of ways.  This support can be in the form of newsletters with current information, events or assistance with speakers and educational tools for support groups she attends.

 

I know _______ wants the support provided by Brain Injury Association of Florida to continue.  The support groups that are helped by BIAF need to continue and not be threatened.  I know Traumatic Brain Injury as a survivor, is an every day event and effort, which fortunately I have not had to personally deal with.  However, as I have seen it and the effect it can have, I know the support needs to be available for both the victims and the Family Members. 

 

Please continue the full support for Brain Injury Association of Florida so survivors don't have to try to FIND help themselves, which could drastically slow down their progress.”

 
 

“. . .  I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Margate, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

My injury was caused by an auto accident that was not my fault, although I had medical insurance, I could not have received the proper type of help I needed to recover correctly without the help of BIAF. Sure my cuts and bruises would be mended but my brain would not be functioning as well as it is today to get me back on track to get me working in the same profession I was working in before the accident.”

 

 “. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Boynton Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

My sister is a survivor of a brain injury from an auto accident.  Her life has been changed completely by this injury.  The one thing that has helped through the years of recovery is the Brain Injury Association of Florida.  She has attended meetings since soon after her accident.  The professionals and other survivors there have been very instrumental in her understanding and recovering from her brain injury.  Please do not take away any funding for the BIAF.  This help is vital to the many, many people that have these types of injuries.”

 

 

“ . . . I am a survivor of a traumatic brain injury who after many years and a lot of support from the Brain Injury Association of Florida, I am now a college graduate and working when I can find a job.  Without the Brain Injury Association I never would have been able to make the connections I made with my rehab facility, vocational rehab and the many connections that have been made through vocational rehabilitation; college, work, transportation, and the much needed support to guide me through the process of development. 

 

After I woke up from my coma for 5 months I could not walk, talk, eat, and was at the developmental stage of a six month old baby, but thank you to the Brain Injury Association of Florida, who guided me to making the connections I needed to file for Social Security Disability Insurance, my year and a half of intensive therapy, and all of the connections I needed for each phase of the process and a huge network of support from fellow survivors. 

 

Without the association I would have been lost after I was released from the hospital and there would have never been a chance for me to become an independent fully functioning adult taking on all of the responsibilities required.  Furthermore, without B.I.A.F. the government would have had been forced to support me for the remainder of my life.  I know how tight the budget is, but the decision to cancel this terrific program will have devastating effects not just on the people suffering from the injury, but also upon the government in its need to support a large group, last time I checked 2% of the populous of Florida, with housing, food, day care,  etc…              Thank you for taking the time to reconsider this decision.”

 

 

“. . .I am a parent of a survivor (my son) with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Bradenton, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my son's survival in the community.

 

It is a silent injury and impacts the quality of one's life forever.  My son was19 years old when he had his accident helping a friend.  He has been through hell and I cannot tell you the sadness it brings to a family.  He was in college and is no longer in college.  He has lost friends and is having difficulty doing everyday things.  This decision to eliminate the TBI association is WRONG.  Florida should talk to people in Texas who respect families and LIFE.

 I am very angry about this decision. The staff called me immediately, supported me in find help, and was by my side when I didn't know what was really going on.”

 
 

. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Naples, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

I had a head on collision in Naples Florida in the late 80's and I was finally diagnosed at Mayo clinic in 1999, and had my hippocampus removed. This re balanced my body temperature, stopped my seizures and I regained my memory. I did not have a seizure until 2007 - at that time I was put back onto seizure medication and have not had a grand mal since.”

 

 

. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Pompano Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

My wife sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury 21 years ago and her life has not been the same since.  We are so thankful that Brain Injury Association of Florida has been there for us throughout the years.”

 

 

“My name is Wendy Waldman and I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Pompano Beach, FL.b Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 I am so thankful for what Brain Injury association of Florida has taught me and for the other survivors and families I have met.”

 

 

“My son suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury 5 years ago and is continuing to make steady progress in part because of the funding and support provided by the Brain Injury Association of Florida. The support from the BIAF has been extremely important to his recovery and abilities to function within the community. They provide valuable assistance with treatment and support programs. These programs are imperative to my son's progress and their education helps with Traumatic Brain Injury prevention.

Please Support Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001 for funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida”

 

 

“. . .I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury who lives in St. Petersburg , Florida. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to his survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . . I am 21 yeas old and I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Groveland, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

This associations keeps me in touch with things that can help me regain and retain my indpendence and recovery.”

 

 

“. . . I am a survivor of Traumatic Brain Injury.  It is more essential than can even be outlined, for each and every brain injured  survivor and Family member to KNOW that someone is fighting for them, to help improve their lives.

 All parties need support for Traumatic Brain Injury, including Veterans, kids, athletes, auto accident victims, those walking who have been hit by a car, or sometimes people who are bullied and are a victim of a fight.  Unless it can be assured that none of these people will ever need support by those that strive to learn more and more about this most inconvenient change of life, I strongly suggest you make support for Brain Injury Association of Florida more of a priority. 

 Please ask all governmental parties making decisions on behalf of survivors and Family Members of survivors, to consider if this happened to them, or to a member of their own Family.  Do any of the decision makers have family members that; drive cars, bikes, motorcycles, OR play sports, OR go to a school where there are bullies or fights, OR do the decision makers do any of this even themselves?  I think you should be getting the picture, this need for support for all facets of traumatic brain injury Survivors and Family Members, is all around us.

 Since it was portrayed that the Governor came from somewhat a medical background, it was assumed that he surely would understand how essential help and support for this type of need has been, is and mostly will be in the future.

 Now is NOT the time to turn off the support faucet, but to continue to allow this support, so that traumatic brain injury survivors can become the best that they can be, as they get to know their new self.  With the support that Brain Injury Association of Florida provides, they allow survivors and Family members to know what they can do to allow the survivor to be not only the best that they can be, but also the best citizen and be able to help others that are going through similar issues.

 I am a survivor, citizen and concerned resident of Orlando, Florida.  I along with many others ask that you be able to look at the BIG PICTURE, before making a bad decision of cutting funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida, that would adversely affect so many people. 

 I and many others are looking forward to decision that will show that we and our needs are truly understood, and we and our needs are not going to be overlooked.”

 

 

. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in St. Petersburg, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my Dad's survival in the community.

 

The last eight years since my Dad's accident have been very difficult although the BIAF has been very helpful to my entire family throughout this challenging journey.  Please consider their needs for funding so that all other families experiencing this are able to receive the support that has been so critical to us.”

 

 

On August 18, 1998, my sixteen year old son was helping his older brother move to FSU when he had one of several accidents in a bad construction zone on I –10 during a storm.  He was the only person who almost died, but God was with him and he lived.  For the next year, he was hospitalized as an inpatient and full time outpatient after suffering a severe traumatic brain injury.  Our family life for years was measured as before and after the accident.  My son has been working at the same job for the past eight years, but has epilepsy and other issues.  Through it all, initially , with information and later with trainings, we learned what we needed to do with and for our son.  My son is better for our help from the BIAF.  We now have thousands of returning service heroes and one in four people in Florida who will have a brain injury who need the services that we needed.  Thank you for your consideration.”

 

“I have recently learned that the Governor's staff has recommended zeroing out funding for the Brain Injury Association of Florida. Many survivors of brain injury and their families depend on the Association to provide them with resources, education, support, and assistance in helping to recover from this devastating and life-changing event.

Please support continued funding for this productive organization and the vital work it provides to those in such great need.”

 

 “. . . my youngest son Alex suffered a severe head injury. First, resources are scare and solutions are few and the costs are shocking.  The Florida Brain Injury Association was very helpful in our recovery process.

 

If you had ever been through this process you will understand that we need more resources to help survivors and their families recover from this life changing experience.  My son will NEVER be the same.  Please help the next family in Florida that needs help.  And there will always be new victims of this terrible occurrence.”

 

 

. . . I am  (A family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury or Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury) living in Ft.Lauderdale FL. The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my daughter survival in the community. My daughter is now married, with a 4 year old daughter and graduated  BCC with 3.9 GPA.

 

The Brain Association was the only organization that believes in the recover and helps to encourage and support families and people with TBI.”

 

 

. . . I am the parent of a survivor with brain injury living in Hollywood, Florida. Brain Injury Association of FL has been critical to my negotiating through this extremely trying time.  Wendy Waldman has been especially helpful and essential to my ability to cope with this.”

 

 

. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Boynton Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

I have attended Brain Injury meetings at the BIAF in Broward for well over a decade - since shortly after my auto accident where I ended up with moderate brain injury.  This organization, and other survivors that attended the meetings, has been very instrumental in my understanding of what happened to me and to my recovery, as well as my ability to live with the permanent results of my injury.  I had no idea what was happening to me or my mental skills after I was run down by a car.  They helped me make sense of it and to know that I wasn't alone.  PLEASE DO NOT cut funding for the BIAF.  There are way too many brain injuries occurring in our community to leave the victims of these injuries with nowhere to turn for help.”

 

 

“. . .I care for my father who now requires 24/7 care after surviving from a TBI. We live in Jacksonville, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

If anything, there needs to be more funding to help people like my father get more assistance to hlep us pay for a TBI facility. They are so expensive and we cannot afford it on his pension and social security. We did get some assistance from the association and received an over the toilet camode and help adding some things in his home.

 

 

My husband and I together have battled the up hill trek to get care, therapy, support, for him and others like him.

 I also have a brother, ____, who suffered a brain injury nearly 30 years ago ... TBI is a very difficult injury and disability to diagnose and treat as the medical industry continues to learn and gain discoveries the injured are learning and struggling to survive. The recoverers, the family members and the therapeutic worlds need support to find care, advocacy, education, medical care, prescriptions, equipment , etc. please do not pull the plug ... There is some much that can be done to improve and heal the thousands of injured ... But it is a long hard road ... For most a forever kind of road ... Please urge our leaders to continue to fund the Brain injury association!!!”

 

 

I'll never forgive you if you are that heartless as to not Support Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001 for funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida.  Just think of our veterans who have given their all for our country as well as others who through no fault of their own have suffered this serious disease.

 
“. . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Sarasota, FL. The  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to his survival in the community.

 

I was pleased that Rick Scott is giving money toward the rowing facility here in Sarasota.  That's important, but not half as important as my son's ability to live a somewhat normal life.”

 

 

. . . my step-daughter, Jennifer McClary is a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Lauderhill, Florida. I am writing because I want Governor Scott to support line 580 of the General Appropriation Act , House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brian Injury Association of Florida. This organization has provided extremely valuable services to my step-daughter and truly does provide important and vital services for survivors of as well as families of survivors that have a traumatic brain injury.”

 

. . .a High School friend of my brothers' works for an organization that needs the continuation of the funding, Tramatic Brain Injury of Florida.  He too suffered from that type of injury 37 years ago.  I know his is a blessing and inspiration to those who suffere from TBI.  Please encourage the Governor to support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act House Bill 5001”

 

 

  . .  I am a Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Melbourne, Fl. Brain Injury Associate has been critical to my survival in the community.  Brain Injury Association speaks for those who cannot remember, who have difficulty with access in the community.

 Brain injury is very isolating. It sets a person apart  from the rest of society. My son has short term memory problems, balance problems but he is fun to be around. We just have to do a lot of  repetition, not everyone is willing to extend themselves to that end. He is very lucky to have survived his injury and we try to provide a support system for him. Money for TBI rehabilitation is scarce and dries up quickly. A support network is important to provide some optimism and hope.”

 

 . . . I am writing to you on behalf of the Brain Injury Association of Florida (BIAF).  My daughter survived a very brutal murder attempt at the hands of an ex-boyfriend at age 20 and was not expected to survive the attack.  We were thrown into the roles of caregivers and did not know how to get her the help she needed but BIAF stepped in and helped us chart the course for _______ in so many amazing ways, too many to list in this short email.  

 

I cannot even begin to tell you how the BIAF has helped our family.   I understand that Governor Rick Scott is going to cut their funding.  I voted for him and asking you to convey this message to him.  "As someone who voted for you and a parent of a traumatic brain injury survivor, I am asking you to do everything you can to ensure that the BIAF funding will not be cut so our newest local survivors will receive the best chance they have at recovery just like my daughter received."

 

 

“. . . and I am a Caregiver of a Traumatic Brain Injury living in Vero Beach, FL.Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community. My son, Charles Bevan, was involved in a head-on collision with a dump truck on April 28, 2006. He was in a coma for 3 months...had to re-learn to walk, talk, read, write, add, subtract, etc. Where would we be without the Brain Injury Association of Florida?...not as far as we are now, that's for sure. My son is graduating with an AA Degree in Social Work on May of this year. He will continue working on a BS Degree in Human Services so that he can help other people with brain injuries like the Brain Injury Assoication staff helped him for all of these years. Please fund this important program!”

 

 

 . . . I am a survivor with a Traumatic Brain Injury living in Miami, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 
I was involved in a catastrophic automobile accident 12 years ago, in which lintroduced to a lifetime of struggles across all realms. If it weren't for the Brain Injury of South Florida, I wouldn't have been blessed to graduate with a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy, reach out to fellow survivors to serve as a mentor, and have anywhere to go to when I am faced with discrimination for being "different." Attached, please find a profile in which I was profiled at my recent graduation. The coordinator of my local association, Mr. Harold Angel, has been instrumental in my journey post-injury.”

 

 

“I  realize that budget cuts must be made, and I wholeheartedly support those efforts, but I implore you not to cut support for the Brain Injury Association of FL.  There are so many survivors of brain injury—and more every day, thanks to the wars in the Middle East—who need to be helped. 

 

My son is a 35 year old decorated veteran of USAF Special Forces who survived a traumatic brain injury in a sport parachuting accident in April, 2000. I, his 65 year old mother, have been his caregiver for the last 12 years.  The Orlando Brain Injury support group is our primary support network.  The meetings and other activities are almost the only ‘social’ outlet my son has and I can’t tell you how much he looks forward to attending them.  One of the most difficult losses after surviving TBI is the loss of friends and fun.  Friends who knew the uninjured guy have no idea how to relate to the survivor.

 Please urge Governor Scott (for whom I voted in the last election) NOT to cut support for this very worthwhile organization.”

 
  . . . and I am a Caregiver to a survivor of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Maitland, FL. The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survivors ability to function within the community.

I don’t know how she would be able to live without the help of the BIAF.  Please recommend to the Governor that funding for the BIAF continue.”

 

 

. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, and friend of family members of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury and Caregivers of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Naples, and Ft. Myers, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

We are involved with the support group in Naples, FL.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida is a very important resourse for anyone involved with brain injury.  200,000 people in Florida are dealing with the effects of brain injury.  This is a life long struggle an we need all the help that we can get.”

 

 

“ . . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Sarasota, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to her survival in the community.  Many months after her car accident in 1989 we were introduced to the Brain Injury Association of Florida and the services that they offered at that time.  Back then, it was mostly just a source for information.   After years of pruning and shaping this organization finally received the funding needed to provide staff in several areas of the State to help one-on-one the survivor, family and care givers in finding the resources needed to help meet the needs of our Survivors.  The Staff is in place now to provide services within the first 72 hours after a TBI is sustained.  (What a life saver that would have been for us when ______ had her accident!!)

 I served as the Treasurer of BIAF for four years and was there as we gathered the much needed funding piece by piece.  Now, after all the good that the BIAF has done and the much, much more that it could do, their funds may be cut!  Why?!  Why would you deny the TBI victims of our great State of Florida services provided by an organization that has the know-how based on many years of experience?

 

TBI survivors have different needs from other disabling events such as spinal cord injuries.  I know, because I also have a son that is a spinal cord injury survivor and a grandaughter that had spinal meningitis at age 3.5 weeks old and has some paralysis and cognitive difficulties.  

 

Please, DO NOT CUT THE FUNDING TO THE BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF FLORIDA, INC.  Our State needs this organization working for the future health and happiness of our TBI survivors.”

 

 “. . .  I am a TBI-survivor (Traumatic Brain Injury).  We live in Winter Springs, FL., and the Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival and continued recovery here in Florida.

 

I, and so many other people folks, understand budget cuts.  We have had to change life-styles, go in debt to receive consistent medical attention, gone without - like so many that are struggling during these economic times; however, life is dramatically impacted even more when a TBi (traumatic brain injury) is added.  

 

We have learned (i am starting year number six of my recovery), that doctors, insurance companies, and people in general are grossly mis-informed and therefore not supportive nor active with the what & how's of TBi, the needs of a TBi-recoverer, and the impact on anyone in their life circle.  It, like other illnesses that do not impact the majority of people, is "silent".  To remove all support for the Brain Injury Association for the state of Florida would be like removing a guide dog for a blind person.  Please urge our leaders to prioritize continued support for the Brain Injury Association for the education, support, and encouragement that this organization provides to thousands.  This would be yet another tragedy to many.  Thank you for listening.  May you have a blessed day.

 

 

. . . . the grandparents of ________ who is a survivor with Traumatic Brain Damage, living in Vero Beach, Florida. Our grandson was listed as one of the top ten brightest  in the country.  He remembers that, unfortunately.  He was in an automobile accident and landed on his head.  We need to have another MRI done for his brain, because he is going down instead of up hill. 

 

The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to the survival of our grandson.  In fact, it has been critical for the survivorship of his mother and his brother. Dan and I also feel the strain; it all seems so hopeless at times.   We never know what Thomas will do next.  Bit, with the support of the Brain Injury Association, there is support and even hope.”

 

 

“. . . . and I am a family member of a survivor of Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Vero Beach, FL. The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to our survival in the community.

 

My daughter sustained her injury in 2003, at the age of 13, and the Brain Injury Association of Florida was vital to our getting our daughter through high school, working with teachers and our family. She is now a college student with a 3.5 GPA. I'm sure she couldn't have come as far as she has without the help of the wonderful people at the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

. . .  I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Riverview, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

If it were not for them I would not have finished my bachelor's degree in social science education at USF. There are some major cracks in the way the health care system defines and addresses traumatic brain injuries. The brain injury association was instramental in filling those cracks and putting me on the road to becoming a contributing member of my community. Please ask the Governor to veto the proposed budget cuts to the Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

 

 . . .I am a friend of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Tampa, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to the survival of those served by this organization. 

The family of my friend is made more compete by its existence and by the services and information it provides. Please support Line 580 of the GAA HB 5001 for funding for the Brain Injury Association of Florida. Their services are vital to the citizens they serve.”

 

 

. . .  I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Jacksonville , FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to survival in the community.

 

BIAF staff helps thousands of individuals with TBI, veterans, family members and caregivers of individuals with TBI  in Florida. Cutting this program would result in more hospitalizations, arrests, and use of public services and entitlements. More persons with TBI will be unemployed and draw upon unemployment. BIAF staff helps individuals with disabilities (TBI) live independently and successfully in the community and does not charge individuals who seek support.  This organization actually delivers services and supports the community. It is very unwise to cut this program. The budget in Florida is in dire straights, however, cutting this program would not improve the budget and would potentially add more cost rather than savings to the State. With the large number of veterans with TBI returning from the war in Afghanistan and Iraq this community support is critical to this population and their families. Cutting this program would not support the Governors pledge to reduce unemployment and support Veterans. BIAF has a good return on investment.

 Please Support Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001 for funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida. This is an organization, unlike BSCIP (Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program) is the sole long-term support system in the State for individuals with TBI and their families. The staff of BIAF work hard and often times save lives by providing intervention and support before the critical breaking point. The are good stweards of thier funds and have exceptional and specialized skills.

 Thank you for your time and attention. Tough decisions are being made, however, this one should be simple and evident.”

 

 

. . . I am a survivor of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Vero Beach , FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community. 

 

When I was in school a member of the BIAF would come to my school and help my teachers understand how to help me.”

 

 “ . . . I am the Caregiver of my stepson who suffers with Traumatic Brain Injury living in New Port Rickey, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community. Traumatic Brain Injury is the invisible injury. Society fears it, education is limited, caregivers are frustrated and survivors are struggling. Traumatic Brain Injury is a life sentence for those affected. The public needs to be aware of these silent citizens that live among us.

Brain Injury occurs in approximately 1.4 million Americans per year. 210,000 are residence of Florida. Coping with brain injury provokes a profound emotional response not only for the survivors but also for family, friends and community. Brain injury survivors suffer memory loss, sudden outburst, emotional confusion, judgment and physical handicaps.

 

March 22, 2006 one phone call changed our lives forever. Our son had been involved in a motor vehicle accident. When arriving at the hospital the staff informed us he was in a coma and had suffered Traumatic Brain Injury. Our first response was when will he wake up and what operations will be needed to repair the damage to the brain. The doctors and staff began to inform us there is no telling when or if he will wake up and Traumatic Brain Injury is a permanent injury The doctors use a expression damage done. After one year of hospitalization we returned home. To my surprise we were entering a world that didn’t understand the physical and emotional changes of our life. We suffered many years alone feeling like outcast in our own community. Our minds revolve around one issue Brain Injury and for our society this is an issue rarely discussed. Our family became involved with a support group that changed our lives. Due to THE BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF FLORIDA We realized we are not alone!”

 

 

. . . I am a neuropsychologist who works with the brain injury population in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to the survival of those recovering from brain injuries in our community.  They have allowed countless individuals the access to education on recovery, as well as funding for further rehabilitation when they are unable to afford it.  Without this agency, these individuals would not have the amazing recovery that they are given now through the Brain Injury Association.  Please reconsider their funding, for it would be a detriment to our state if this association was not able to do the amazing work that they have been able to do.”

 

 

“My name is ____________ and my son, _________ is a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Tampa, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival as a caregiver and business owner in the community. The information the Brain Injury Association of Florida provides families that have experienced Traumatic Brain Injury is vital to achieving a higher level of possible outcome in the health and well-being of a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor. I also volunteer a significant number of hours a month to other families that have suffered from the devastating impact of Traumatic Brain Injury in their lives. The Brain Injury Association is an incredible resource to families that are struggling to decipher what is left of their lives and where to get help.

Individuals that suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury are at severe risk and their families frequently don't have the luxury of speaking up for themselves when state budget issues arise. They also are at risk of losing everything they own including their jobs dues to the care giving responsibilities. Cutting a budget item that is a life line for this segment of our State citizen is a travesty.

 

“Since anyone can sustain a brain injury at any time, it is important for everyone to have access to comprehensive rehabilitation and ongoing disease management,” said Dr. Brent Masel, national medical director for BIAA. “Doing so eases medical complications, permanent disability, family dysfunction, job loss, homelessness, impoverishment, medical indigence, suicide and involvement with the criminal or juvenile justice system. Access to early, comprehensive treatment for brain injury also alleviates the burden of long term care that is transferred to tax payers at the federal, state and local levels.”  The Brain Injury Association of Florida helps families tap into these resources and improves the lives of those who have suffered greatly.

Please support Line 580 of the GAA HB 5001 for funding for the Brain Injury Association of Florida. Their services are vital to the citizens they serve.”

 

 

. . . I am a survivor with a Tramatic Brain Injury, living in Melbourne, Fl.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

 

. . . I am a survivor with  Traumatic Brain Injury living in Vero Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

Wendy Waldman and BIAF have been an invaluable resource  in my  initial recovery and in the years that followed.  I am extremely grateful and would be devastated to lose their support.”

 

 

 . . . I am a family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in Sarasota, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to her survival in the community.

The staff has coordinated support meeting which has prospered confidence in my sister. The support meetings were most helpful with the family to network with others who must cope and accept the
lifelong tragedy they must endure.”

 

 

“ . . . I am a survivor with a Traumatic Brain Injury. My family is also joining me in support of this bill and we live in Tampa, Pensacola, and Clermont, Florida. The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community after my injury.
 
After my injury in May 2006 where I was in a coma for four days and had to learn to walk and talk again. I had a contusion to my frontal lobe which dramatically effected my psychological state as I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety and Severe Mood Swings. I also suffered a subdural hematoma which greatly disabled my cognitive and memory learning abilities. The doctors and staff were doubtful of my future and prepping my family to put me in a home where I could receive continuous care. Almost six years later, I can now say that I am not only a college graduate from the University of Central Florida; but, I will be graduating from law school in one month. Despite continuous doubt about my future, even after my acceptance to law school, I was told, "Even though you got in, doesn't mean you'll graduate." Well, I WILL be graduating from law school in May 2012.

It is imperative to keep the funding for the Brain Injury Association. It is necessary to ensure that families, like mine, receive the educational tools and support to guide the injured and their families through the roughest times. It is important to provide them with tools to find the best medical care and support so that other TBI victims can see that there is hope and can be a walking testimony like myself. The resources that the Brain Injury Association provides is priceless. The group meetings allow families like mine to come together and see that despite future predictions of their health, you can overcome your obstacles. That having a TBI does not have to slow you down. That individuals with brain injuries can be helpful to the community as well.
 
My family and I did not know a lot about brain injuries, their existence, nor how common they were until I suffered one. It is important that the State of Florida keeps funding the BIA of Florida to make the residents of Florida aware and knowledgable about what a brain injury is, things you can do to prevent the occurrence of one, and what to do after one. The drastic changes and psychological trauma that brain injury victims go through and the effects of them on the family are devastating. The association helps thousands of families cope and deal with the 'new person' in their family and the changes that must be made to ensure rehabilitation of the injured.
 
It is with this, that I beg your office to fund the Brain Injury Association of Florida. Without their help and guidance, I would not be where I am today. Nor would I have had such a strong support group, both through the organization and with my family to help me through my ups and downs, struggles and triumphs, to help me to succeed and be a voice for traumatic brain injuries.”

 

 

“. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury – thru no fault of my own.  We live in Indialantic, FL.  THe Brain Injury Association of Florida has been important to my survival in the community.  He support group understands and accepts  my deficits and organizes activities, speakers, etc. for us.”

 

 

. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Wimauma, FL.. The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community. I was hit by a tractor trailer truck in Hillsborough County in February of 2011. Please continue to fund this program. There are so many like me in great need.”

 

  Please do not cut funding to the Brain Injury Association of Florida. The work that they do in our community is invaluable. Where else will those in need of assistance be able to turn?”

 

 . . . I am a neuropsychologist living in Orlando, FL.  I often have to work with individuals whose lives have been dramatically altered by circumstances outside of their control: a child who fell off their bicycle, a teenager hit by a baseball, a retiree who tripped on a rug... Seemingly minor everyday occurrences, but occasionally these are events that can damage the brain to a radical extent. These traumatic brain injuries can impact survivors psychologically, socially, and professionally - in the case of children robbing them of a bold and bright future. The Brain Injury Association of Florida is an amazing statewide resource of information, referral, and advocacy for the survivors of TBI and their families. There is really no other resource like it, and it plays a huge role in helping survivors meet the challenges of their new circumstances and lead as active and full lives as possible. I refer patients to this resource frequently, and it will be devastating to rob survivors of this source of hope after life already has robbed them of so much.”

 

 

“. . . I am a physical therapist assistant working with survivors of Traumatic Brain Injuries living in Venice, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to their survival in the community.

Please do not cut funding to this very important organization- survivors have such a hard existence after such a catastrophic injury; please don't make it more difficult by taking away the little bit of help they receive from the government.”

 

. . . I am a parent of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury  living in Miami FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to daughters survival in the community.

Please do not cut or end budgets for brain injuries.”

 

 

. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury living in West Palm Beach, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

 

Please encourage the governor to support this bill for funding of BIAF.  My daughter, Jolene Mullen has greatly benefited from this group. They have helped her to understand her limitations and to fit into the community. She has enjoyed many benefits and has friends through this group.

Please help this group to continue by passing this bill.  Thank you very much.”

 

 

“First of all, let me wish you all Happy Easter. My name is Marie-Terese Henderson an almost 40 year resident who you made recall from previous visits to Tallahassee as a participate with the Orange County Disability Advisory Board when I spoke to you all about the needs of the people who sustain traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their families who endure the responsibility of their care. 

I am but one of the over 12,000 Orange County residents living with the long term disability related to my TBI. I have learned to live with my short term memory, double vision and constant headaches and have had a blessed recovery. But for those Floridians with TBI who are not as fortunate have trouble and get caught up in the courts, jail, or the mental health systems, which is at great cost to the state and local governments.

As a 20 year TBI survivor I am the Chairperson of the Central Florida Brain Injury Support Group that meets twice a month for support, education and socialization. We are one of the wheels on the vehicle to a successful re-integration into our community for TBI survivors. The other wheels on the vehicle to a successful TBI recovery is the Brain Injury Association of Florida (BIAF) that is the statewide resource of information, referral and advocacy and the Brain & Spinal Cord Injury Program that is in partnership with the Haley VA Hospital in Tampa one of three poly trauma units that treat the veterans with TBI the signature wound of the Iraq and Afghan wars. We just did a tour of the expansion plans for the new poly trauma wing for all the TBI, SCI, and multiple amputee veterans who are still returning as we speak.

It has been brought to my attention that Governor Scott is planning on cutting all funding for the BIAF from the state budget for next year. If this happens, the BIAF will no longer exist, and we won't be able to call on anyone for help. We need your support for Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001 for funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida.”

 

. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, family member of a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury or Caregiver of Traumatic Brain Injury living in Lake Worth, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.”

 

 

“. . . I am a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Riverview, FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community.

 

I consider myself to be one of the luckier TBI survivors. But, since my injury in 2006 I am unable to fill out paperwork for the services I need because I am unable to read and retain printed material. While my daughter is my Payee Representative for SSI, she lives in Ohio and cannot help me with doing paperwork.

 

Cheryl Ace BIAF has been my lifeline when it comes to applying for and meeting the review requirements for the services I need. NOTE: I had to have my roommates assistance in sending this email to you asking for the Funding for BIAF to be continued. “

 

 

“. . . I facilitate a Brain Injury Survivor Support Group in Pinellas County that meets at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, FLorida. This group has been in existence for over 20 years. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to many of the froup members' survival in the community. 

I’m calling you because we need the Governor to support line 580 of the General Appropriations Act, House Bill 5001, which includes funding to support services for the Brain Injury Association of Florida. 

Brain Injury Association of Florida’s support has been critical to the members of this group. We also extend an invitation for the Governor and/or his staff to stop by and join in our group anytime. We meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month from 6-7pm in the Sheen Conference Center at Bayfront Medical Center, 701 6th Street South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701.

 

“We are ___________ on May 10, 2005 _______ was involved in an auto accident and received a traumatic brain injury. The Brain Injury Association of Florida have assisted both of us as a survivor and caregiver by assisting us with obtaining important resources, connecting us with others in the same situation and given us support and help whenever asked. The Jamboree that takes place each June for survivors and their families and caregivers is very important to both of us as it allows us to learn more about the affects of TBI and allows us to be with others in the same situation. This is an extremely important event that is sponsored by the Brain Injury Association and it will not be able to happen without continued funding. Please do not let this happen.”

 

 

. . . I am a mother of Alexander Hankinson, a survivor with Traumatic Brain Injury, living in Boynton Beach , FL. Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my survival in the community“

 

 

“. . .  I am a Mother/Caregiver of a Survivor with a Tramatic Brain Injury, living in Melbourne, Fl.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to my son's survival in the community.”

 

 . . . I am a Neuropsychologist and former member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of Florida, living in St Petersburg, FL.  Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to the survival in the community of many of the injured individuals I have treated over the years, and countless others.

 

The BIAF has for years provided a wide range of valuable services to the injured population, their families and caregivers, and to the professionals who work with them in a variety of capacities.  Without the BIAF, which operates on a shoestring budget as it is, literally thousands of Floridians would be left with no organized resource for infomation, education, referral service or support. 

 

Please Support Line 580 of the GAA, HB 5001 for funding for Brain Injury Association of Florida”

 

 

“. . . I am a father of a traumatic brain injury survivor injured in late 2006.  The Brain Injury Association of Florida has been critical to our survival in the community and in our state.

 

Please be aware there are very limited to NO services and support in the State of Florida for brain injury survivors.”

 

 

“In your capacity as an to advisor Governor Scott on health care issues, I urge your support of budget proviso found in Section 209 of HB 5001.  Your counsel is important toward assisting him to determine whether this pilot program will become a reality.  This proposal also has no fiscal impact and uses existing dollars.

As a pediatric endocrinologist (PE), I have firsthand experience of how important it is to have a variety of choices when treating this rare disease.  The program will provide needed options for those of us serving the Medicaid fee-for-service community but it can do so while saving the state and providers resources through competitive negotiations with a specialty pharmacy.

The current situation today with Florida Medicaid is unacceptable.  The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) specifically has prohibited any specialty pharmacy, or any other entity for that matter, to procure all available CPP treatment options. AHCA will only permit physicians to “buy and bill”, which creates two problems: first, most PE practices do not have the resources to all treatment options or the infrastructure to procure them, and second, even if physicians were to do so, the state reimburses at retail cost, thus wasting Medicaid dollars. 

Every commercial health insurance plan and every state Medicaid managed care plan in Florida allows for a specialty pharmacy another entity to acquire and seek a negotiated reimbursement but Florida Medicaid.

We understand there are likely less than sixty total children impacted annually.  These Medicaid fee-for-service patients afflicted by this cruel disease truly need options.  Your support and counsel to Governor Scott can help those children to have those options available to them within existing revenues.”

 

I AM A FAMILY MEMBER AND CAREGIVER TO  A SURVIVOR WITH TRAUTMIC BRAIN INJURY, LIVING IN PALM BAY FLORIDA.  BRAIN INJURY HAS BEEN CRITICAL TO OUR SURVIVAL IN THE COMMUNITY. 

PLEASE SUPPORT LINE 580-OF THE GAA,HB 5001 FOR FUNDING THE BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF FLORIDA.”



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