December 3, 2019

 

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that celebrates generosity by providing people everywhere with an opportunity to give more, give smarter and give great. It’s about ordinary people coming together doing extraordinary things.

This year, BIANJ is fundraising for an incredibly crucial program, BIANJ CARES.

BIANJ CARES was developed to support individuals and families impacted by brain injury. This program focuses on collaborating to assess current needs and develop a plan to help achieve their greatest potential and increase quality of life. To date, CARES has helped over 150 families.


BIANJ CARES Stories

Lorenzo

We first met Lorenzo when he was struggling with uncontrolled seizures, aggression and drug use. He wasn’t involved in any meaningful activities, and wasn’t on good terms with the family members he was living with. He was refusing to take his seizure medication or see doctors.
After gathering resources from the Alliance and framing his challenges in the context of brain injury, Lorenzo and his family members began a journey toward a new beginning for his life. He started regularly attending a day program, reconnected with doctors to help regulate his seizures, and became an invested brother and son to his family. He began using the TBI Fund to meet regularly with a life coach who helps him practice life skills and serves as a weekly mentor.  

Thanks to Lorenzo’s family and support from the Alliance, he now has a better home life, improved family relationships, goals and the willingness to work towards them.


Patty

Patty was a successful critical care nurse and independent single mom to two teenagers, who enjoyed many hobbies with her boyfriend, Jim. On the night before Easter she hit her head on a piece of medical equipment causing a mild traumatic brain injury. Patty still remembers the immediate pain, loss of vision and dizziness. Due to struggles with her employer, Patty did not receive post-concussion treatment until three years after injury. Patty continues to have severe headaches, anxiety and serious pain.
At the time of her referral to the CARES program, Patty was about to lose her private insurance and was overwhelmed. Her CARES case manager helped her secure insurance, identify doctors, and receive funding through the NJ TBI fund. She was provided in-person support at doctors’ appointments, court hearings and home visits. Patti is grateful to the Brain Injury Alliance of NJ and her boyfriend, Jim, who has supported her in every way since the accident.

Shango

Shango is a 22-year old male who was involved in a motor vehicle crash last December on his way home from work. He was attending Montclair State University part time studying illustration. Shango spent six months at an acute rehab and was transferred to a long term sub-acute program close to his family. While he has made progress in his therapies, he continues to be in a minimally conscious state. Shango’s family reached out to BIANJ CARES seeking support and assistance with advocating for their son’s care, as they felt the facility was not familiar with young brain injury cases. BIANJ met several times with Shango and his family to provide emotional support and participate in medical meetings with treatment staff. BIANJ initiated and organized an in-service to train staff, resulting in more appropriate care. Shango has since received more functional equipment, which has enabled him to leave his hospital room. In addition to advocacy and education, we have linked Shango with the Reilly Fund, a private fund available to BIANJ clients, which is helping to pay for his physical, occupational and speech therapies as he has exhausted his insurance benefits for these services. The family was paying out of pocket so this is helping relieve some of their financial pressures. His family is tremendously grateful to the program as well the Musicant Family Brain Trust. The family reports that the most helpful benefit of the CARES program has been emotional support. Last month, Shango celebrated his birthday, out of his room, with friends and family surrounding him. Pictured above is Shango with his mother, Faith.