Concussion Hope

Posted: 8/6/20

For someone recovering from a concussion, maintaining hope is essential. Concussion recovery is not linear, and setbacks are common, but progress is always possible. We launched our #ConcussionHope series to spread positivity, inspiration and helpful advice for those battling concussion symptoms.

Each Monday, we post a new Hope video on our Twitter (@ConcussionLF) and Instagram (@concussionfoundation) pages. Be sure to follow us so you never miss a Hope video and scroll below to see the #ConcussionHope videos from advocates all around the world!

If scrolling through the #ConcussionHope videos and transcripts below will trigger your symptoms, click here to check out our YouTube playlist of Hope videos.

Isaiah Osborne (IG: @isaiah_ca_realestate)

"What's up everybody? My name is Isaiah. Former football player, played about 15 seasons, started playing year-round ball when I was seven. So I've had a few concussions.

But I just wanted to speak to people out there going through the same thing. It's tough and you don't need anybody to tell you that. You know how tough it is. I just want to say don't lose hope. That's the most important part. Hold on to hope. If you don't have anything else, keep hope. And join groups on Facebook. That's what helped me a lot. I joined a group and found there were plenty of people going through the same things. Talking with some of them and seeing what works for them. You can reach out to me if you like.

Try new things! I'm out here kayaking, having a good time. I used to not do this. So just find peace, keep hope. Reach out to others that are going through the same thing. And once again, keep hope."

O'Ryann Addison (IG: @oryann.addison)

"Hi everyone. My name is O’Ryann Addison and I am a rising junior.

I obtained a hospitalizing concussion last year, to this day, I still have memory issues and a slow rate of brain processing. I have tons of accommodations in school to ensure my success.

One of my most important tips is to listen to your brain. A concussion isn’t like a broken leg where many scans clearly show your bone is broken. It is an injury that is unfairly downplayed in society and people often play and live through it and end up with permanent damage.

Life brings a lot of great memories but it is important that you can actually remember them. If you are experiencing a concussion, no matter how severe, it is crucial that you listen to your brain because it is trying to tell you that it needs a break. I couldn’t read a book without throwing up and I had to withdraw from the semester.

I still deal with the damages to this day and it can be very frustrating at times. I encourage anyone experiencing a head injury to reach out to those they are close to and stay connected and get some help.

It is also helpful to keep a journal and log all of your symptoms and feelings as head injuries can also bring about emotional distress. Take care!"

We’re always looking for more #ConcussionHope videos! Want to get involved? Email Hope coordinator Brandon Boyd at bboyd@concussionfoundation.org for more information

George Abunaw (IG: @gtabunaw)

"Hey everyone! My name is George Abunaw. I’m a rising senior on the Men’s soccer team at Boston University. I just wanted to pop in to give my concussion story and some advice that I had.

I received my first concussion in January of 2019. And I got cleared back to play March of 2019, so it was a 2-month process getting back on the field for me. So my advice is “everybody’s time table and returning from a concussion is different and its important that you listen to your body, listen to your brain, and you don’t rush to comeback too soon.

I had teammates who had recovered from a concussion within a week; some of them in 2 weeks. And obviously for me it was hard knowing that they had done that and I was taking much longer.

But at the end of the day, I knew I had to listen to my brain, I had to listen to my body, and it could be detrimental for the rest of my life if I came back too soon. So I know it’s a long, hard, arduous process but the most important thing you can do is just make sure you’re listening to every part of your body.

And that when you come back you know it’s the right time."

Brooke Lisowski (IG: @brookelisowski)

"Hey what’s up y’all my name is Brooke Lisowski and I was a D1 Goalkeeper at Berkeley from the year 2015-2018 and I just played my fifth-year red shirt year this past year in 2019 at SDSU.

So being a D1 goalkeeper you get thrown into dangerous situations a lot. I, unfortunately, had a handful of concussions myself with my worst one being my sophomore season which put me out of soccer for four-and-a-half months.

So if you are a person who is dealing with a concussion, my advice to you is one be patient with yourself. A head injury is not like any other injury that you may have, and your brain is the single most important thing that makes you YOU.

So you really need to make sure that you give yourself the proper time and space to actually heal.

And two, utilize your support system. I know it’s not always easy what you’re going through. But whether it’s your family, friends, teammates or myself. Just shoot a DM and I’d be more than happy to talk to you.

But with that stay healthy, stay safe and get off your phone because screens are bad for you."

Ozzie Martinez (IG: @ozziemartinezjr)

"Hey everybody, how are you doing? Ozzie here with the Post-Traumatic Survival Podcast. I want to talk to you a little but about the possibilities of what you can do living with a TBI. 

I don't want you to think that you're just done, there's nothing you can do because 'I forget things' and stuff like that. Those are excuses. I have a notebook in my truck, in my backpack, in my house. I bring hose notebooks together then write some stuff down into my computer. I write on my phone a lot, take a lot of verbal notes.Any time that I think of something, I write it down because I forget a lot. And I know I forget a lot. But I want you to understand that things are doable to do.

I run a nonprofit organization where I take disabled Veterans fishing like myself and I run a podcast. So it's out there ladies and gentlemen. There's way to do it and there's ways to live with it. I just want you guys to have hope. And do not give up."

Erik Foley (IG: @12erik97)

"Hey what’s going on guys? It’s Erik Foley here. I just wanted to make a quick video for you guys on concussions and Post-Concussion Dyndrome.

If you’re struggling from PCS, the first thing that I’d like to say is reach out to people that are in the same boat as you. I know that helps me immensely.

The Concussion Legacy Foundation is a great tool to use just to connect with people that are in the same boat as you and going through the same things that you’re going through. Because I know these injuries can be hard to understand sometimes.

And the last thing I’d like to say is that if you’re involved with a contact sports team, if you’re a kid, a parent, a coach, any age. Educate yourself about concussions. Know the signs and the symptoms because I know when I was playing, me, myself included, people were naive about concussions. And I think there’s a lot of concussions that I’ve had that I played through where I definitely shouldn’t have.

I appreciate you guys listening and if anyone is going through anything, my DM’s are open.

Thank you guys for listening and I hope you guys have a good day."

Victoria Sivitilli (IG: @v.ghs)

"Hi everyone. I’m Victoria Sivitilli and I’m a third year business student at Ryerson University. Five years ago, I sustained a concussion from a slip and fall accident causing me to withdraw from the program I was in and start my slow recovery.

My advice to you would be to speak up. In my experience, many people are unaware and uneducated about the symptoms associated with having a brain injuries. Let your peers, your collnd your families know how they can help you best. When you’re having a bad day, don’t be hard on yourself. Allow yourself time to heal.

It’s sometimes a slow recovery, but I promise you it does get better. Be patient and be kind to yourself. Don’t rush. There’s no timelines for your personal recovery. Be strong and reach out. There are always people here to help."

Jeff Scott 

"Hi everyone, my name is Jeff! First of all, I want to apologize about the hat and sunglasses- it’s a must when I got outside on a sunny day. The glare is just way too much for me.

But I just wanted to talk to you guys and just give you maybe a couple pointers on what has helped me through my rehabilitation from my concussion. I know we all have good days and real bad days. That’s going to happen in the process.

The number one thing for me that I found out that helps is just spending time outside, no matter if it’s for a couple minutes in your backyard or you’re able to really get out there with a hat and sunglasses on and go for a walk. Just being outside and having quiet time by yourself it’s helped me tremendously. Especially on the really difficult days when my head’s pounding and things are elevated. Also, number two is, for me anyway, is just surrounding yourself with positive people. Whether that’s close family or friends, just having positive energy around you. Because I understand through the process, there are some dark days  and  just having people around you, positive people, is going to help you and just get through those tough days and also if there’s no close family or friends nearby, just listen to podcasts.

There are hundreds of podcasts out there sending a positive message. That’s what I do on a daily basis on my walks, i constantly listen to Ed Mylett, Rachel Hollis, Trent Shelton. Those are the people that I listen to and get great positive messages from.

And it helps me get through my days. So hopefully those couple tips will help you guys in your rehab from concussions. Just know that you will get through this, no matter how long it takes. Stay positive and good luck with everyone."

Kathryn Clark (IG: @kathrynclark7)

"Hi guys! My name is Kathryn. I’m 23 years old and I have sustained about 5 or 6 concussions. My last concussion was in 2017 when I was playing soccer for Babson College.

Since then I’ve been living with Post-Concussion Syndrome so for me specifically, it was living with migraines every day for about 2.5 years. But in the past six months or so; the headaches have subsided enough to the point where I was able to finish school, start a full-time job and return to normal life.

So my biggest piece of advice for anyone going through this recovery is understanding that it’s not going to last forever. I think that when you live with these symptoms and this pain for so long and you don’t see any sort of improvement, it’s really easy to give up hope and think that this is permanent.

But it’s so important to try to stay positive and wake up every day just doing what you can. So some days you won’t be able to get out of bed, but understanding that that’s okay and pushing yourself the next day, even if it’s just going for a ten-minute walk.

I think to do this you have to surround yourself with people that understand how difficult the recovery is and just have someone by your side to say that this pain will not last forever.

So I hope this resonated with some of you out there and feel free to reach out!"

Teri McMullan (IG: @scumbelinaonskates)

"Hi! I’m Teri from New Zealand and I wanted to share a message of hope around PCS and concussion recovery.

I sustained a fairly serious concussion five months ago playing roller derby and one of the hardest things for me was being disconnected from my derby family. From my team. And this really negatively impacted my mental health.

So with the encouragement of my psychologist and my physiotherapist I returned to training. I wasn’t cleared to play or be on skates yet, but I just went to encourage other and help with training where I could.This was huge turning point for me because I felt connected and I felt useful again.

So I would really encourage you, if you can, to see how you can still be involved in your sport in some capacity. Maybe not playing. But in a different way. Just while you recover. Because being part of a community and being connected to those people who love us and support us really helps with our recovery."

Giuliana Calia (IG: @giulianacalia)

"Hi guys! My name is Giuliana. I am a rising senior at Boston University. I sustained my fifth concussion in a skiing accident in February of 2019 and I have been battling the effects of PCS since.

I want to share a piece of advice that someone gave me that really helped with these long-term, drawn out, physical and psychological symptoms:

And that is to communicate up front with your professors and your bosses and the people you’re working with what is going on. That conversation can be really scary to have at first, but lifted such a huge weight off of my shoulders for them to know that this is something that I am battling.

So when those bad days do come, I can send a text to my boss or an email to my professor and say “Hey, today's a bad day- lets work on another time I can complete this task.”

And this allowed me to feel that I could continue my normal life as a student as an employee while still allowing my brain to heal on the days that it really needed time to rest

I hope this resonates with someone and provides a reminder to you that your bosses and your coworkers and your professors all want to see you performing your best. And if that means you need to take a day off, they’re going to recognize that and support you doing that."

Noah Abrams (IG: @noahabrams)

"What’s going on guys? My name is Noah Abrams. I play soccer at Northeastern University in Boston.

I sustained my first concussion in September 2017 during my sophomore season. I had obviously had a lot of friends and former teammates before that have had concussions and sustained head injuries. But at the time I had never really understood what it felt like and what the symptoms were of a concussion. I definitely thought it was one of those things that you could rub some dirt on and overcome so fast.

But the day after I woke up from my concussion then I really started to feel the physical and psychological symptoms. And this was obviously a very, very uncertain time for me.

If I could give you a couple pieces of advice when you’re dealing with some of your concussion symptoms. the first would be know that you’re going to get through it. There’s obviously going to be a lot of tough days and my symptoms lasted for a while but it’s gonna be one of those things that gradually gets better and better and you’re going to start to feel yourself.

And the second piece of advice I would give you is to speak to the people that you know care about you. I was not one of those people before my concussions that spoke to my friends and my family about kind of deep emotions that I was feeling.

But after those really tough days that I was having, I finally opened up to the people that I know cared about me. And I really felt that I had all these emotions and feelings that were bottled up inside of me

And as soon as I spoke to the people that I know cared about me, I really started to feel a lot bettering my psychological state."

Sarah Quinn (IG: @miss_sarahq)

"Hey guys my name is Sarah and I’m from Amsterdam. Last year I had a bike accident which resulted in a concussion. I’ve been dealing with Post-Concussion Syndrome ever since.

One of the best things I ever did was to spend about four days, four or five days, writing every single thing that I was doing in a day down. And then highlighting each activity, deciding whether it was a mental activity, a physical activity, or resting. You’ll find that once you do this, most of the actives you were doing are mental.

What you can do from that is then really see where you need to be taking breaks. It sounds so obvious, like “take a break,” but until you see it written down that you’re doing like a few hours of mental activity with no break, then it will really change the way you approach your day. And it can really help.

So for example, most things are a mental activity. Like watching TV, speaking to someone, making your breakfast, pretty much everything is a mental activity. And you really need to be taking breaks in between them. At the beginning, I was taking half an hour breaks after every mental activity. But then I started to build up the activities, Like going a longer time without having to take a break. And now i only really take breaks like once a day. Then the breaks that I do take now, are not just, like, doing nothing.

I do meditation. Which is another huge thing that that helped me. So yeah that’s my top tip!

Other than that I would say that I know that it’s really frustrating and each day is different and it feels like no one else understands

But, believe me, you will get better. You will get better. You will no matter how long it takes, it’s not going to last forever."

Jacob Kopelman (IG: @jacobkopelman)

"Hi my name is Jacob Kopelman. I am 16 years old and I recently just recovered from my 3rd concussion.

I’ve been playing competitive ice hockey for 13 years now and I got my most recent concussion during a game. At first, aside from my pain symptoms like headache and other symptoms that you might be going through with your concussion. I found that the most underrated symptom that sort of brought up the pain of everything else was frustration and stress.

So my biggest tip and recommendation to anyone who might be going through a concussion right now is definitely find your own personal ways to reduce your stress and frustration. So for me that was light cardio, so either like walking on a treadmill, like biking, pretty much anything you can actually tolerate I would recommend and I’m pretty sure that your doctors would recommend that, too.

And then also just talking about my feelings with someone I trust, like a family member or a friend. I found that that really helped me, too. And just remember that you will recover from your concussion. It’s just a matter of time.

Everyone is here to help you. You have so many people on your side and you will get better."

Mitch Webb (IG: @kmitchwebb)

"Hey guys my name is Mitch Webb and I am a health coach

Over this past year I’ve been recovering from a traumatic brain injury and Post-Concussion Syndrome. Today, I just wanted to give you a couple tips that allowed me to get my health back so that you can too.

First off, nutrition. I think the ketogenic diet or even a low-carb paleo approach was fantastic for me.

Next would be mindset. I learned that the law of attraction tells us that we get what we focus on. If I tell myself that I can’t and I won’t, I will not get better. But if I wake up every day and I can get in to a meditative state and I can program my subconscious that we are getting healthy that we will be be happy, that we will be in love with life, that was transformative.

Check out the book, “Becoming Supernatural”

Next for movement was getting out int he sunshine first thing in the morning. We know that this reestablishes the circadian rhythm and prepares us for a good sleep at night

All these tips were transformative for me and I hope they’ll help you too."

Brian Salvi (IG: @bsalvi1)

"Hi! My name is Chris Salvi.  As a former football player and boxer, I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes with those of you suffering from a concussion or Post-Concussion Syndrome.

It’s a fight that caused these issues but it’s going to be a fight that will get you out of it. With that, Theodore Roosevelt, “the Man in the Arena.”

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better; The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;

Who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and short comings;

But who does actually strive to do the deeds who knows great enthusiasm, the great devotions who spends himself in a worthy cause;

Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly;

So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Keep fighting. You’ll get through it!"

Claire Arcenaux (IG: @clairemeleon)

"Hi everyone! My name is Claire and a little over four years ago I suffered from a concussion. I really didn’t know much about head injuries, concussions, until I started to experience the symptoms first and my advice to you is to find a network- friends or family or people like me who have experienced this as well. And reach out to them. Talk to them if you’re having bad days.

I know personally I experienced some really lonely times and a lot of people didn’t understand and some of those people won’t ever understand. Find a strong network of people who do and let them know when you’re having hard days. And if your body is tired and you need to rest- listen to your body, rest your body. Remember that knowledge is power. Continue to educate yourself on things you can do to improve the symptoms.

And I am sending you love and light during this time."

Aaron Franco (IG: @aaronfranco23)

"I’ve been dealing with Post-Concussion Syndrome for three years now.

I just want to share some hope and strength to let you know that there are doctors and research and people out there who can understand you, who can relate to you, who can help you. You should never, never, never give up. Keep fighting for health and keep fighting to get back.

And I’m always here for you. I’m now helping out at the Concussion Legacy Foundation. They’ve done tremendous things for me and they can help you as well.

I’m always a phone call away. If I can help you, just let me know.

Know you’re not alone in the fight. All the best!"

Molly Parker (IG: @mollyparkerpt)

"Hi everyone! My name is Molly Parker. Back in 2011, I sustained a concussion when a car driver fell asleep at the wheel and ran into  crowd of people on the side walk.

Since that time, it has been quite a road. I didn’t fully understand when I had the accident what concussions could turn into.

It has been a journey since. But I’m here to report that I’ve continued to improve and not only that but I’ve improved years out.

So my message to you today is number one: concussions are treatable. Be sure to get treatment. This isn’t something that you have to live with. I’m a strong believer that you can make improvements and fully recover no matter how far out you are.

Almost all my recovery happened after four years when I finally started to find people who know what they were doing and how to treat these things. I would encourage you to continue to try and find people in your area who can provide treatment for you.

Also realizing that if you’ve seen one physical therapist, you’ve just seen one physical therapist. That might not be the right person for you, not necessarily crossing the whole profession off the list

So keep trying until you can find the people who can really help you with your symptoms. And the second thing I would say is find your tribes! that could be through a local support group, or your friends or online. Find people who are going through what you are who make you feel like you’re seen and heard and uplifted. And that you have support while you’re going through this journey.

All my best to you guys! Thank you to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for bringing attention to such an important cause."

Kersti Whitney (IG: @the_regenerative_everything)

"Hi my name is Kersti and I’m from Huntington Beach! I wanted to share a message of hope surrounding concussion and PCS.

The biggest impact that really helped me was what my physical therapist did for me and a couple of her other patients - she actually linked us up together and we ended up meeting together to talk. It was just so nice to feel part of little group, and not so alone.

We were able to just share symptoms and what we’d been doing that’s been really helping and we would just talk about everything. That was a huge role in my own recovery because I stopped feeling so crazy about what was going on in my own head that I felt people weren’t really understanding."

Dr. Robert Cantu

"For those of you going through a post-concussion period of time with symptoms, the important thing to understand is almost certainly you are going to get over these symptoms.

For those of you who may have these symptoms lasting for a period of time beyond a week or two, active therapies can speed up that recovery. For ocular symptoms there is ocular therapy. For visual and balance symptoms, that’s vestibular therapy.

For cognitive symptoms, there is cognitive therapy.

The important thing is you will get over your post-concussion symptoms in almost every case, there are active therapies you can use to speed up that recovery.

Definitely realize that you will recover."

Ryan Pamplin (IG: @ryanpamplin)

"A traumatic brain injury is terrible thing to go through but it won’t define you. You will get over it. Things will get better. And you can learn from it and become stronger.

There will be a point where it is not something that you think about every day. In my case I was able to use it as a launch pad to really focus on health and to create  business that really focuses on wellness and now helps so many people around the world. I think what you need to do is think about ways that you can look back at your injury and see it as a source of inspiration instead of something that was an accident that you regret. And that you just wish that you did one thing differently.

I am not glad that it happened but there’s a lot of good that wouldn’t have happened if it didn’t happen. I think that if you can find a way to make that your story, then you’ll find a peace with what happened to you. You’ll move on and end up even in a better place then where you started."

Ally Crich (IG: @allycrich)

Hi everyone, my name is Ally Crich and I’m originally from London, Ontario, Canada but I now live down here in Atlanta, Georgia. And I’ve been dealing with PCS for 10 years now

I have two pieces of advice for you guys listening. The first is to be open to things. There are many different forms of treatment and many different medical professionals out there. As we know every concussion is different so what helped me might not help you. And vice versa. But try everything and give a shot because you never know where something could lead you. You never know how helpful something small might truly be .

My second piece of advice is to never give up hope. You know we’ve all been there. We’ve all been in those dark, sad, lonely and depressing days where the symptoms take over everything. We want to give up and I know what that feels like. I’ve been there many, many times. But surround yourself with people that support you. Reach out to us – all of us who share our stories on here. There’s a reason we share them. We want you to know that you are not alone in this. Reach out on Facebook, Instagram

Read those Impacted Lives. The rest of my story is up there and again and we share those for a reason. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, it will get better. And along the way you’re going to make amazing friends and you’re going to meet so many people.

So keep going. Like I said there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And reach out we’re here for you guys."

Meredith Casey (IG: @meredithhcasey)

"Hi everyone! My name is Meredith Casey. I am from North Redding, Massachusetts and I suffer from a Traumatic Brain Injury.

My biggest tip or my biggest piece of advice is to find your passion. It took me a couple of years, but I found what I truly loved to do. Also know that you are not alone in this journey- everyone out there is suffering a battle that you know nothing about."

Brent Sullivan (IG: @coachsull55)

"Hey guys, Brent Sullivan here. I’m a hockey coach at the University of Ottawa. A couple years ago I ran a program called run sully run, which is basically me running a half marathon in order to raise awareness for Concussion Legacy Foundation and also concussions in general.

I was a junior hockey player that suffered from a lot of concussions. And then later on in my life I ended up getting in a car accident and suffering from another.

For me, I think the best practice to keep me sane and keep me chugging along is just trying to take control of your day. I think we can all recognize when we’re on a downward spiral and you know it’s important to be able to recognize that and try to fix it as soon as possible. Whether that’s just taking a full me day and just relaxing or staying away from electronics or even just letting friends know it’s been a little too much lately.

But I think it’s most important to have a good support system around ya and make sure that everyone is understanding your situation. The grass is definitely greener and keep on chugging along."

Lisa Bond

"I want to take a moment to talk to the caregivers of concussed patients right now.

First and foremost, I want to tell you, you are heroes. I know that you are dealing with things everyday, battles that no one can imagine. And I just want to encourage you to keep on going. Keep loving your loved one. Keep letting them know that you’re not going to give up on them.

I want to encourage you to pour yourself into the website of the CLF. There’s lots of resources there. Even videos to explain what is a concussion. Just knowing what is going on in the brain of your loved one is so important and it helps you to understand better.

It also has videos on there about what is rest and why is rest important. It also has information about different therapies and things like that. Also, there are lots of testimonies on there not just from Noah Bond, not just from Esther Lovett. There are lots and lots of testimonies that you can read through just for encouragement. To know that there are others out there just like you, fighting a fight that until recent years has really not been talked about. No one’s understood this.

You are doing a fabulous job. Just know that your loved one will get through this. You will get your loved one back. You just have keep on keeping on. Just don’t stop loving them even when they are irrational or irritable, their pain level is really high. You’re going to have good days and you’re going to have bad days. I hope that you will reach out to the CLF the Helpline if you absolutely can’t find anyone knowledge near where you are. When I found the CLF it was life changing for our family and I know because I reached out, our son is with us today."

Claire LaPat (IG: @clairelapat)

"Hi, I’m Claire LaPat. I am from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I am sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh.

One of the biggest things that I found very helpful in my recovery was doing my own research. Just kind of going online and finding people who had been through something similar. The first person I ever found who I could related to was actually Taylor Twellmen because I saw him on ESPN on an Outside The Lines report. I found just so much hope knowing that he was a functional human being who had been through something similar to what had been through or was going through."

Dave Boddy (IG: @official_dave_boddy)

"So I just wanted to let you guys know that you are not alone, you are absolutely not alone. There are millions of individuals unfortunately who are battling and just trying to overcome daily as a result of brain damage. You are not alone. 

I also want to say thank you to Chris Nowinski and the Concussion Legacy Foundation for all the work they are doing. Keep it up and I am here for each and everyone one of you. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram @davematthewboddy.

Thank you so much. Keep it up and I have the upmost faith that you like myself will continue to fight on a daily basis."

Erin Payne (IG: @erinppayne)

"Hi my name is Erin Payne and I have Post-Concussion Syndrome for a little over 2 years now. My best advice for those who are still struggling with Post-Concussion syndrome or concussions in general is to stay positive, stay hopeful and stay motivated.

Because your pain will not last forever and you will recover no matter how long or how strenuous your recovery may be."

Ryan O'Malley 

"Hello everyone, my name is Ryan O’Malley, from the Bronx, New York.

I played football when I was in high school and when I played football I had  multiple concussions. This led to something that is called a traumatic brain injury. After the traumatic brain injury, it led to a lot of pain and anxiety and different troubles in life.

I received a lot of help from people when I got the help from people you start to appreciate things. You get grateful. And it was right there at that moment in my life that I said, maybe it’s time for me to give back and help others, the same way I got helped. I’m devoting my time to become a peer counselor and with these peer counseling skills, I could teach not all those who helped me. But others around the world, how to live a happy, successful life."

Julia Manning (IG: @juliamanning2)

"Hi everyone! My name is Julia. I am the Communications Manager here at CLF. I've had PCS for about two and a half years now. 

Just wanted to pass on an encouraging message and let you know that you're not alone and recovery truly is possible. I remember how isolating that can be and it feels like no one understands you. No one can believe that all these crazy symptoms you have are just from a concussion. But they are. Your pain is real. And there are people out there to help you. We are here to help you and hopefully connect you to some good doctors, PTs, OTs. A good care team that can help you feeling better.

I remember when there was a time, about a three-four month stretch, where I truly believed I was going to have to live the rest of my life with a seven out of ten pain. And that's just not the case. It might be slow, it's going to be pretty hard, but your brain can retrain itself and you can get better. So, the biggest thing for me was always try to stay positive and try to really think about all the things I was gaining during this recovery. Things that I would never have time to do before, having a new sense of gratitude, building relationships that I might have forgotten about in the past. So try and think about the positives that are coming out of this really hard, hard experience. And always looking forward to the future.

So hang in there! It's going to get better and we are all here for you."

BJ Catalon (IG: @benjithaiii)

"My name is BJ Catalon from Houston, Texas. I’ve struggled with PCS for a while now. But the love and support of family members and friends has helped tremendously.

I challenge anyone out there struggling with Post-Concussion Syndrome to just keep going. Find something that motivates you or takes you out of your comfort zone. I recently have taken up writing lyrics and poetry to better help channel my energy and my emotions. Though this process for everyone is different, I urge each and every one of you to look towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

Know that there are thousands of PCS victims out there that you have the love and support of. Remember - you are not alone."

Kathryn Bertine (IG: @kathryn_bertine)

"Hi, my name is Katherine Bertine. I live in Tucson, Arizona. I am a retired pro cyclist and I pledged my brain to CLF a few years back after I went through a pretty devastating crash, brain injury.

I am lucky to still be here- I broke my skull twice and definitely had some post brain injury issues especially with the magnitude of a crash like that. But, I’d like to give some hope to everybody out there whose suffering from PCS and brain injuries. It can get better and I know that what you might be going through right now or perhaps you’ve sustained an injury in the past, it does get better. I promise you that. It’s been three years for me. I am living a full life. I am able to do stuff I love like riding my bike and keeping fit and reading and writing.

I can tell you something that helped me. The first was the hardest and that was being patient which is SO HARD. That is so hard for an athlete. Oh my gosh sometimes you’re just going to have to be as patient as possible. Because for me the symptoms were different three months after a crash, six months after a crash, nine months, up to a year.

There were different stages so if you are new to a brain injury please be patient with yourself. I know that’s hard- stick it out. It will get better I promise."

Noah Bond (IG: @noahwbond)

"Hey what’s up guys! I’m Noah Bond. I’m from Athens, Georgia and I wanted to give y’all some encouragement.

So I was talking to one of my good friends a while ago and when I was in a time of need, I really could rely on him. And that’s always something you need to do- you need to have somebody that you can always talk to and feel completely comfortable with. Holding things in is not a good thing to do.

I know from experiences when you bottle things up just keep adding to the pile and after a while the pile is going to be too much. And you don’t want to have that all fall down.

So being able to let things out at a consistent pace is so helpful."

Esther Lovett (IG: @elovett09)

"I'm Esther Lovett, I'm from Cambridge, Massachusetts and one of the things that was most helpful to hear was just from other people that they had gone through something similar. I think with PCS, you can feel like you're the only person who has it and feel very isolated. So for me, just knowing other people had gone through it and come out the other side was really helpful and gave me a lot of hope in my recovery."

Chris Nowinski (IG: @christophernowinski)

"Hey everybody, Chris Nowinski here. Recovering from a concussion can be tough. You don’t feel like yourself. Work or school may feel impossible. and you just don’t know when you’re going to feel normal again. When I was going through it, I learned how important it was to have hope. Your headache won’t go away, you can’t sleep, you need to be reminded that things will get better. Because they will!

To spread hope we at CLF need your help with our new concussion hope video series. We are asking you to shoot a simple video just like this with a hopeful message for people battling concussions. We will post a new video every Monday to inspire those i need. Just use the #ConcussionHope when you post it so we can find your video. Thanks and I can’t wait to see your videos."

We’re always looking for more #ConcussionHope videos! Want to get involved? Email Hope coordinator Brandon Boyd at bboyd@concussionfoundation.org for more information

 


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