Approximately 1.7 million each year sustain a traumatic brain injury. Superstar snowboarder, Kevin Pearce, suffered one on a practice run preparing for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Kevin, along with his brother, Adam, called the show to discuss their story and their new mission.

I was on this super clear path to be a professional snowboarder, and to be one of the best in the world. —Kevin Pearce

On December 31, 2009, while training for the Olympic trials in Park City, Utah, Kevin suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Although wearing a helmet at the time, the injury left Kevin in critical condition and in a medically induced coma. His recovery—and his journey to accept his new life—was chronicled in the HBO documentary, “The Crash Reel.”

Kevin emerged as a passionate advocate for the prevention of brain injuries and the promotion of a brain healthy lifestyle. Along with his brother, Adam, Kevin co-founded the Love Your Brain Foundation (Loveyourbrain.com). Their mission is to prevent brain injuries, support brain injury recovery and promote brain health.

Kevin is a Sports Ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society.  He credits his brother David, (born with Down syndrome), as a huge influence in his life and career.  In addition, Kevin is the 2014 recipient of The Dana and Christopher Reeve Inspiration Award from Craig Hospital.  Furthermore, he received The Victory Award (2011) from The National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC.

I asked Adam Pearce to share one thing he would say to a family who just experienced a traumatic brain injury.  He recalled the advice given to his family by one of Kevin’s physicians.

“If you could think about being in the woods. Instead of thinking as if you are going to walk out of the woods—the woods become less dense.”

It Takes a Lot of Patience and Support

“Understand that this is a long journey, and one that really  takes a lot of patience and support.”   [In addition,] it requires the coming together of your community to support this.  Because it is a long one and that’s the reality of it.” —Adam Pearce

Adam also offered comments about the impact of Traumatic Brain Injury on family relationships.

“It definitely puts some strain on those relationships.  But I think with good communications and just the right support, I think it makes those easier. But in the end, it has the ability to bring you closer to family and that loved one going through it.

 

About Peter Rosenberger

Peter Rosenberger, a thirty-year caregiver, is the author of Hope for the Caregiver.  In addition, Peter hosts a weekly radio show for caregivers on 1510 WLAC, broadcast Sunday’s at 3 PM CST.  In addition,  Peter serves as the president and co-founder of Standing With Hope.The author of four books, Peter earned a black-belt in Hap-kido, and is an accomplished pianist.  He recently release his new CD,

Radio Show for Family CaregiversPeter Rosenberger’s radio show for family caregivers can be heard each Sunday at 3PM CDT on Newsradio 1510 WLAC.  In addition, it is streamed world-wide through Iheart Media, and is a podcast, as well.

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