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Surviving and thriving after a brain injury

Brain injuries strike 400 New Yorkers every day.

Lois and Angela were in Washington last week for National Brain Injury Awareness Day. Credit: Provided Lois, left, and Angela were in Washington last week for National Brain Injury Awareness Day.
Credit: Provided

All it takes is a split second for a brain injury to completely alter someone’s life. Dr. Lois Tannenbaum knows this through her research as president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State. But she also knows it through experience: Fourteen years ago, she was in a car accident that killed her fiance and left her with a brain injury.

This Saturday’s first-ever statewide March on for Brain Injury will bring together survivors and their supporters across the Walkway over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie. Tannenbaum hopes to not only raise awareness of brain injuries, which strike 400 New Yorkers every day and can result from trauma or illness, but also change some of the misconceptions surrounding them.

“People think of brain injury as an event — it happens and it’s over,” she says. “But it becomes a lifelong disability. The life of a person is changed forever.”

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You can still register ($20) and fundraise for Saturday’s walk by visiting www.bianys.org/MarchOnRegistration. Funds raised will go to education, prevention and intervention measures.

Angela’s story

Angela Leigh Tucker, 35, has a traumatic brain injury stemming from a car accident in 2008. She now advocates for brain injury victims on Capitol Hill and recently co-authored a book about her experience, “Me Now — Who Next?”

"I was a vice president of a Manhattan public relations firm, a newlywed, and was driving back to a newly purchased home when the car crash occurred. I awoke six weeks later at Westchester Medical Center and learned my husband was killed in the crash. My reality changed in an instant.

"That was in 2008, and I've been healing ever since. BIANYS has been an important part of my recovery, and I look forward to giving back to this organization at March on for Brain Injury."

 
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