Please join me in supporting people with brain injury by making your
holiday gift to the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey.
I had the privilege of meeting Nyema Harve this year at Camp TREK, a week-long summer camp for adults with brain injuries. Nyema was ecstatic to be at camp and repeatedly told me that “this is my favorite week of the year.” She added, “I have made lifelong friends, because Camp TREK allows me to be myself and people accept me here.” Nyema has a contagious laugh and a personality that lights up any room.
Nyema was a high honor roll student who aspired to go to college and become a scientist one day. Those dreams were shattered when, at age 10, Nyema was hit by a car while walking home from school.
Today, Nyema is 24 years old, and while her recovery has been remarkable, everyday tasks are still difficult. Nyema’s walk is unsteady and she requires a walker or wheelchair to get around. She has memory and other cognitive issues that make it unsafe for her to be alone.
Nyema lives with her mother, who works long hours as a manager for a group home. Nyema’s mother is understandably exhausted after work, caregiving and household tasks. The week of Camp TREK is the only break Nyema’s mother has, and she uses that time to work extra hours to supplement her income.
Since 2014, Nyema and her family have worked with BIANJ’s support program to help them navigate through the challenges of living with brain injury. BIANJ has been providing emotional support to Nyema and her mother and connected them to Camp TREK. Staff also signed Nyema up for the Adopt a Family program to help make the holidays special with gifts and cheer. Nyema screamed with joy when staff arrived at her home with bundles of packages!
Despite the everyday difficulties that Nyema faces, she is happy, motivated and an inspiration to all who have the pleasure to meet her. Nyema still dreams of going to college, being able to walk and run one day and being a “normal” girl.
Nyema and her mother are deeply grateful to the BIANJ team for supporting them through the challenges of her brain injury. According to her mother, “I do not know how we would cope and get through every day without BIANJ. They are the most wonderful and caring people we know and they have helped us so much.”
Please join me in donating to BIANJ today in honor of Nyema, so that we can continue to bring help and hope to individuals and families living with the challenges of brain injury. Thank you for your generosity. We wish you a healthy, safe and happy New Year.
With warm regards,
Steven Benvenisti, Esq.
President, Board of Trustees