RLF in the Community:

Ohio Cyclist Inspired to Ride for Veterans

Doug Chivington is combining his passion for ultra-distance cycling and supporting military veterans into a yearlong quest to educate others about traumatic brain injuries and the mission of the Resurrecting Lives Foundation.

Chivington, 59, of Bellefontaine, Ohio, will participate in several ultra-distance cycling events –each 100 miles or more – to raise funds for RLF.  To donate, visit our special website addition, or use your mobile phone to text “GoDoug” to 44321.

A lifelong runner and cyclist, Chivington has focused on ultra-distance cycling for about 10 years. He has been able to train full-time after retiring in March from Honda of America, where he was a human resources manager. While at Honda, he met RLF founder, Dr. Chrisanne Gordon, when she spoke to company officials about hiring veterans. His interest in helping veterans is motivated by his son’s combat injury suffered in 2006 while he was serving in Iraq. His son has recovered but Chivington said he became an advocate for veterans with such injuries. “God has given me the talent to sit on a bicycle for a long period of time,” he said. “I would like to ride with a purpose and support our Veterans.”In addition to the Foundation, he is also sponsored by Cycle Zone, a bicycle shop, and BRL Sports Nutrition.

Chivington is looking to set a state record for his age group (50-59) for the World UltraCycling Association when he sets out on September 11 from the Cincinnati Zoo to the Toledo Zoo. In 2020 he plans to participate in at least four ultra-distance cycling events and hopes to raise at least $50,000 for the foundation. He also plans to meet with veterans and create a cycling team for the foundation. “It will be mentally and physically challenging to do these events and there is a connection with veterans because recovering from a traumatic brain injury is mentally and physically challenging,” he said. “I don’t want them to give up.”

The foundation believes he can accomplish his goals, said Dr. Gordon. “It is incredible,” she said. “We are so grateful for his efforts and proud to be a part of his journey.”

Ohio Every Day Heroes in our midst

Ohio’s third annual Every Day Heroes campaign has selected Resurrecting Lives Foundation founder Dr. Chrisanne Gordon as a finalist, along with 4 other Ohio residents.  The initiative, co-sponsored by the Columbus Dispatch/Dispatch Media Group, the Columbus Foundation, the United Way of Central Ohio, the Columbus Center of Science and Industry, and CME Federal Credit Union, will name a Dispatch Media Group Hero at a luncheon on October 1.  The series focuses on people who live in the Columbus area and “quietly work to heal, unite and improve our communities.”

RLF programs to bring SAD lights to Fisher House Alaska veterans and to drive meditation techniques as a coping mechanism for veterans with TBI or PTSD were highlighted in the Every Day Heroes publications.  Congratulations to the finalists, semifinalists, and all of the heroes we work with every day.

Dr.Gordon Featured as a Cardinal Mooney High School (Youngstown, Ohio) Outstanding Alumnus

As a way to spotlight Mooney graduates and their accomplishments, service, and focus on the school’s tradition of “Sanctity, Scholarship, and Discipline,” Cardinal Mooney High School has begun a website series featuring outstanding alumni.  Dr. Gordon was honored recently in the Alumni Spotlight, where she credited her teachers as “brilliant and dedicated men and women who…. decided to utilize their talents in the Catholic School system to shape lives, communities, and a nation.” She cited her years at the school as “the ‘boot camp for the mission she would eventually embrace.

Lifting up our Veterans

Resurrecting Lives Foundation supported Lifting up our Veterans, a Union County (Ohio) mental health program held in August that was aimed at local veterans.  The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Union County and the local Veterans Service Office sponsored the 2-hour workshop because of an increase in local veteran suicides.  More than 3000 veterans reside in the county.

The program focused on TBI and PTSD, and featured information on how to help spot warning signs of mental health trouble and where and how to find resources.  RLF founder Dr. Gordon was the guest speaker along with Ohio State Senator Dave Burke.

Seventh Annual Scopus Sedge Fest!

If you are in or near Scopus, Missouri on October 12, seek out the good times at this annual fundraiser in the little town with the  big heart.  Every year, Scopus residents band together to stage a music festival, sell country favorite foods (and lemonade!), hold an
auction, and play games –including the infamous Chicken Poop Bingo.  In the process, they raise some money and give it all away to organizations that help kids and vets, all in memory of their dear friend Warren Miller.  This year, the fun starts at 11:00 am, auction starts at 2:30, and the 3-band concert featuring Curtis Cook and the Damn Band, Silver Fox, and Route 67, starts at 5 pm.  Proceeds from the day benefit RLF and the Heartland Down Syndrome Association.  We thank Scopus again for keeping us close.

From the Board: Seth Freshly

  • Captain Seth Freshly, Ohio Army National Guard, and IT Supervisor at Cardinal Health, joined the RLF Board of Directors in November 2018, taking on the role of Treasurer. In 2014, Seth left active duty and relocated his family to the Columbus, Ohio area.  Captain Freshly has earned numerous awards, including the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Meritorious Service Medal.At Cardinal, Seth has managed teams to deliver projects and manage IT assets. He volunteers with the Cardinal Health Veterans and Military Advocates employee resource group and has worked on hiring, retention, and recognition initiatives within the group. Prior to Cardinal, he was an IT project manager at Fast Switch, Ltd.As Army National Guard Captain, Seth was Battery Commander for Alpha Battery, a field unit of over 100 soldiers based in Delaware, Ohio. His unit, Alpha Battery, participated in the Republican National Convention in July 2016 and in Operation Northern Strike in August 2017. He is currently serving at the Joint Force Headquarters as a guard emergency liaison officer.

I grew up in Northeast Ohio with my older brother and parents. I knew I wanted to serve from a young age, due to the fascination towards adventure, machinery, and might that the military exudes. While in my sophomore year at high school, the attacks on September 11, 2001 marked the moment I sealed my decision to join the military.

After high school, I attended the United States Military Academy Preparatory School in Fort Monmouth, NJ from 2004-2005. Following that I earned a nomination to the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY from 2005-2009. There I studied International Law and competed on the pistol team.

After branching field artillery I selected an assignment at Fort Polk, Louisiana with 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division– the last place you would expect a mountain unit to be stationed. Selecting Fort Polk was an easy decision for me and a shocking decision for everyone else. I received a standing ovation because that meant one less Fort Polk spot for everyone else, but my fiancée (now wife) was at LSU studying civil engineering, so I didn’t really consider any other post.

I deployed to Afghanistan for 12 months in 2010, only two months after marrying the love of my life. There was a great deal of pride that I felt to be serving, but also a great deal of pain to be leaving my wife for a year. The experiences from that deployment and the large amount of support from back home formed the foundation of my desire to volunteer and give back.

My son was born in 2013 while I was stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and by 2014 I was transitioning off active duty. I knew that I wanted to continue to serve and found an assignment with the Ohio Army National Guard. I also found that there were a multitude of dedicated individuals who wanted to help with finding a job for a transitioning veteran.

I started working at Cardinal Health in 2014 thanks largely to the help of the veterans and military advocates within the company. After starting, I began seeing all the various charity events that were being held and knew I wanted to help as well. Over the past five years I have volunteered with various internal veteran initiatives and added 3 more children to my family. After my twins were born in October 2018, Dr. Gordon reached out and asked if I was interested in joining RLF. I was most grateful for the offer and knew it would be an amazing opportunity and a personal learning experience since I had suffered a mild traumatic brain injury from an IED blast overseas. Resurrecting Lives Foundation is among only a handful of nonprofits that bring attention to returning military who have suffered from TBI. From the Foundation’s early work to support landmark scientific research on the effects of blast waves on the brain to ongoing collaboration with businesses to raise the hiring profile of veterans, RLF shows its commitment to its mission on a regular basis.

Since joining RLF, I have seen numerous selfless individuals who seek very little recognition and give a very large amount of time

and effort to this cause. The willingness and attitude of our volunteers is nothing short of amazing. It is truly humbling and something for all of us to strive towards.

 

 

By: Seth Freshly

 

Those who came back scarred…

It has been 18 years since the horrific September 11 attacks that took the lives of thousands of people and shocked and yet mobilized our nation. In New York, Virginia, and rural Pennsylvania, first responders shouldered the terrible burden of being first on the scene, attempting to preserve and respect life. Many of them carried away injuries of the body or soul… or were not able to walk away at all.

For many years after, young men and women joined our military because of this crisis, and engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan or Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. Many of those service members also carried away injuries of the body or soul… or were not able to walk away at all.

But where September 11 inspired our youth to join in the fight, those who came back scarred have inspired the rest of America through their own private wars, fighting to resume civilian life. It has not been easy.

Many of them carried away injuries of the body or soul… or were not able to walk away at all.

Eighteen years is a generation; those joining the military now have little visceral connection to September 11 or OEF or OIF. But for those surviving service men and women who joined because of September 11, who sacrificed on the battlefield over the last 18 years for our freedoms, and especially those who carry the most invisible of the wounds of war – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Brain Injury – Resurrecting Lives Foundation is eternally grateful. As a nation, we need to be united behind those who sacrificed, as they were united for us.

Hitting the links for Veterans with TBI

Golf may very well be the most appropriate metaphor for life: the US Golf Association rules that golfers should “Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it, and if you cannot do either, do what is fair.”

Cardinal Health’s employees once again staged a fair, successful, and fun golf outing at the Golf Club of Dublin on August 25, 2019, in order to raise awareness for veterans with TBI or PTSD who do their best to play the ball as it lies. This fourth annual fundraiser welcomed 121 golfers in 31 teams, who competed for bragging rights and door prizes, and general all-around camaraderie. Corporate sponsors included Microsoft, Deloitte, Memorial Health, Google Cloud, Rolta Advizex, CDW, Service Now, Network 9, Fastswitch, The Select Group, ComResource, Zscaler, Equinix, Fahrenheit IT Staffing, Witron, Calculate Hire, DeToto, Axway, AWH, Thompson Hine, Manhattan Associates, Huntington, Apex Systems, Adaptive Sports Connection, Insight, HP Enterprise, and Teradata, and of course Cardinal Health and Resurrecting Lives Foundation.

Keynote speaker at the event was veteran Bill Chisum, a Cardinal Health employee working in Alaska. Chisum, an RLF ambassador, heads up the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) light project for RLF.

Below is the text that formed the basis for Bill’s speech.

Good afternoon. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for having me here today. My name is Bill Chisum, and I am a 10-year Air Force veteran and a five-year Cardinal Health employee. I am a happily married father of three. I have fought in 2 wars with 3 deployments, one of which is still affecting my family to this day.

During my career in the United States Air Force, I worked Medical Supply as a customer of Cardinal Health. For 10 years I worked directly with the fine folks of Cardinal Health as a customer. Prior to my separation, Cardinal Health accepted my application for a position as a Cardinal Health Field Service Rep for the Government, a role which I have thoroughly enjoyed because I am able to assist those who still serve. Basically, I am a dedicated on-site customer service rep. During my training, I knew that I had made the right transition. Having the opportunity to work with my former unit allowed me to slowly stick my tippy toes into the civilian world. I knew that it felt at home, to work for a company that had an Employee Resource Group such as Cardinal’s Veterans and Military Advocates.

I struggled; I really had a lot of anxiety and fear about being accepted into a society that was protesting and “occupying” America, and in my mind, I was now entering my own private Vietnam. In all honesty, I feared that it was just me against the world.

I began working for Cardinal Health at my prior unit, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska in 2014, which brings me to how I met Dr. Chrisanne Gordon and the amazing people of THE Resurrecting Lives Foundation.

It was in the fall of 2015 and was I was excited to finally be able to participate in something at the corporate level. You see, even though I have never lived in Ohio, I have family that is from here. And being able to support them and give them an avenue to seek help is ultimately all that I was looking for. The VMA was doing a fundraiser and pairing with Resurrecting Lives Foundation. I had come up with the idea to do a fundraiser based off of No-Shave November, reflecting on what I recall as being TBI awareness month. While things did not work out originally as planned, I was able to keep in touch and develop a relationship with Dr. Gordon.

Through constant communication, it came out that I was struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which affects roughly 10 million adults every year. I was at a critical level of five nanograms of Vitamin D in my blood serum (a related marker for SAD), and trying to deal with the long winters in Alaska. Dr. Gordon came up with a great idea of researching and studying how seasonal affective disorder affects veterans with TBI or PTSD and she sent me the first shipment of 20 SAD lights to distribute out to veterans and first responders.

Writing this speech has brought back a lot of emotion and grief. I remembered the morning that I woke up at 3 am. As I was unable to sleep, I sat up to read the news that there was another bombing in the capital of Kabul, a hell hole that I had just returned from. My team consisted of members of every service component, but the ones that kept us alive were our force protection. They were members of the Ohio National Guard’s 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Among the fallen in Afghanistan – 283 from the state of Ohio – were soldiers that I remember: SPC Todd M. Bates, SSG Aaron T. Reese, SGT Michael C. Barkey, PFC Samuel R. Bowen, Cpl Brad Davis, 1LT Ashley White-Stumpf, SPC Ryan A. Martin, 1LT Charles L. Wilkins III, SGT Jeremy M. Hodge, SFC Daniel J. Pratt, SFC Daniel Crabtree, LT COL Kevin Sonnenberg, SGT Anthony M. Vinnedge ,CPT Nicholas Rozanski, MSG Shawn Hannon, MSG Jeffrey Rieck, SPC Cody D. Suggs.

As I was unable to sleep, I sat up to read the news that there was another bombing in the capital of Kabul, a hell hole that I had just returned from.

Like you, I have a desire to offer my support to those who have served our great nation and communities around the world. To see that no one feels alone and isolated as I did, I have dedicated a considerable amount of my time to several non-profit organizations:

  • I have lead courses and given testimony with Soldiers Heart, a curriculum that is teaching attendees healthy ways to cope with PTSD and is growing nationally and has expanded to include law enforcement, EMT and fire-rescue first responders.
  • Alaska’s Healing Hearts is a national organization offering year-round outdoor recreational opportunities for America’s brave wounded warriors and their families. Rehabilitation activities include fishing, hunting, skiing, rodeo, dog sledding tours, and various other outdoor pursuits.
  • Similarly, I am a pro-staff member for The Fallen Outdoors, which facilitates hunting and fishing trips for military and veterans while honoring those that gave their lives so that we can still play in the field.
  • And Finally the Fisher House of Alaska, where in conjunction with Cardinal Health, and active-duty Airmen, we raised over $1500 in gift cards and presents to provide daily Christmas gifts to patrons through December back in 2018.

It is gratifying that all of these organizations are merging in my life: in July of last year, the Fisher House of Alaska expanded from a 15-bed to a 35-bed facility. And in wanting to keep in tune with our family relationship, The Resurrecting Lives Foundation sent an additional 20 SAD lights just for the guests of the Fisher House.

I am pleased and honored to be here today with you to salute Cardinal Health, Resurrecting Lives Foundation, and the veterans with TBI or PTSD who have earned our support beyond measure. Thank you.

RLF in the Community: “Living with TBI: a Conversation on Working, Socializing, and Thriving”

Living with TBI: a Conversation on Working, Socializing, and Thriving

In partnership with Duquesne University Office of Military and Veteran Students, Veterans Breakfast Club, and  The Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law, Resurrecting Lives Foundation founder Chrisanne Gordon, MD, will host a panel discussion this month on Living with TBI. This community conversation will focus on those who’ve experienced traumatic brain injury and have learned not only to live with it, but to thrive. TBI has been a lesser-known injury until relatively recently, as veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan began returning home with head injuries that disrupted brain function.

Special guest is slated to be Dr. Cyril Wecht, nationally acclaimed forensic expert whose work has been utilized in high profile cases involving Mary Jo Kopechne, Sunny von Bulow, Jean Harris, Dr. Jeffrey McDonald, the Waco Branch Davidian fire, and Vincent Foster.

Light refreshments will be offered, followed by the program, which is free and open to the public.  Join us on September 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in the Africa Room in the Student Union, Duquesne University (1000 Locust St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219). Discounted $6 parking is available at Forbes Parking Garage. RSVP to ellie@veteransbreakfastclub.com or 412-623-9029

Ohio Cyclist Inspired to Ride for Veterans

Ohio Cyclist Inspired to Ride for Veterans

Motivated by son’s combat injury, Doug Chivington, to raise funds to help struggling veterans

MARYSVILLE, OHIO – Doug Chivington is combining his passion for ultra-distance cycling and supporting military veterans into a yearlong quest to educate others about traumatic brain injuries and the mission of the Resurrecting Lives Foundation.

Chivington, 59, of Bellefontaine, plans to participate in several ultra-distance cycling events to raise funds for the Ohio-based foundation, which coordinates and advocates for a successful transition to a post-military career and life for veterans with traumatic brain injuries.

A lifelong runner and cyclist, Chivington has focused on ultra-distance cycling – events of 100 miles or more – for about 10 years. He has been able to train full-time after retiring in March from Honda of America, where he was a human resources manager.

While at Honda, he met Dr. Chrisanne Gordon, who founded the foundation, when she spoke to company officials about hiring veterans.

His interest in helping veterans is motivated by his son’s combat injury suffered in 2006 while he was serving in Iraq. His son has recovered but Chivington said he became an advocate for veterans with such injuries.

“God has given me the talent to sit on a bicycle for a long period of time,” he said. “I would like to ride with a purpose and support our Veterans.”

In addition to the foundation he said he is sponsored by Cycle Zone, a bicycle shop, and BRL Sports Nutrition.

He is training to set a state record for his age group (50-59) for the World UltraCycling Association. He plans to do it on September 11, traveling from the Cincinnati Zoo to the Toledo Zoo.

In 2020 he plans to participate in at least four ultra-distance cycling events. He hopes to raise at least $50,000 for the foundation. He also plans to meet with veterans and create a cycling team for the foundation.

“I would like to ride with a purpose and support our Veterans.”

“It will be mentally and physically challenging to do these events and there is a connection with veterans because recovering from a traumatic brain injury is mentally and physically challenging,” he said. “I don’t want them to give up.”

The foundation believes he can accomplish his goals, said Dr. Gordon.

“It is incredible,” she said. “We are so grateful for his efforts and proud to be a part of his journey.”

 

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For More Information, Contact:

Jim Lynch, 614-832-7295

 

Author Stan Crader Directs Book Proceeds to Help Struggling Veterans

Author Stan Crader Directs Book Proceeds to Help Struggling Veterans

Author Stan Crader, who writes and lectures about rural America, is donating all proceeds from his series of three books to the Resurrecting Lives Foundation, which coordinates and advocates for military veterans with combat-related traumatic brain injuries.

Crader, president of Crader Distributing Company – Blue Mountain Equipment in Marble Hill, Missouri, wrote his first novel The Bridge in 2007. Paperboy was published in 2010 and The Longest Year was published in 2012.

“The proceeds from each novel was initially directed to a local charity…but now all proceeds from all novels are directed to Resurrecting Lives Foundation,” he said. He was introduced to the non-profit foundation from a friend who was involved with Wounded Warriors. He is now a member of the foundation’s board.

An estimated 20% to 25% of the nearly 3.2 million returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan have a traumatic brain injury and an estimated 30% have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.\

Crader, who was raised in a small Missouri town, set his novels in the late 1960s in the small fictional town of Colby, His first book spent several days on Amazon’s best-seller list for Christian fiction.

His family and those who received his company’s quarterly newsletter and humorous family Christmas letters encouraged him to write a book, he said. While the stories are fiction, the characters are a blend of people he knew while growing up. There’s also a thread of truth in some scenarios, he said.

“They’re realistic, and take the reader on the full emotional curve…and evokes many treasured memories of their childhood,” Crader said of his books. “The target audience is baby boomers, particularly those who grew up in towns of less than 50,000 people, but I’ve found that readers who came of age in New York City find the stories interesting.”

Crader said readers encouraged him to continue tales of Colby and its residents after his first novel. He is contemplating a fourth novel in the series, tentatively titled Approach the Bench.

“I’m inspired to write or speak when there’s something to be said,” he said. “Rural America, when responsibility ruled the day, is slowly evaporating…and is now replaced by sidewalk-free neighborhoods filled with kids looking at their screens and texting a friend who is nearby.”

Crader has a website, stancrader.com. His books are available on Amazon.com.

###

For More Information, Contact:

Jim Lynch, 614-832-7295

Resurrecting Lives Foundation expands it Employment Initiative to Marines at Camp Lejeune, NC.

 

Resurrecting Lives Foundation recently made a trip to Camp Lejeune to introduce and make plans to bring its “CO to CEO Employment Initiative” to the Marines at The Warrior Hope Center at Camp Lejeune NC.  The Warrior Hope and Care Centers provide medical care, mental health counseling, professional training and education, physical conditioning and transition services for wounded, ill, and injured Marines and Sailors.
While visiting at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Dr Chrisanne  Gordon was able to visit the United States Marine Corps, Wound Warrior Battalion East (WWBn-E) of the Wounded Warrior Regiment.  The Marine Corps through the Wounded Warrior Regiment (WWR), has made an enduring commitment to keep faith with those who sacrificed much.  When a Marine is wounded, falls ill, or is injured, comprehensive and coordinated medical and non-medical support become vitally important.

The Warrior Hope Center

entrance Hope centerhope and Care Center NCchrisanne and Painter

Pictures Left to Right
Entrance to Hope Center, Work Out Room, Dr. Chrisanne Gordon with Artist Craig Bone

painting at hope centerpainting with craig bonestatue

Pictures Left to Right
Paintings at Entrance to Hope Center, Retired MGySgt Rob Saul poses in from of the a statue in front of The Warrior and Care Center.

United States Marine Corps, Wound Warrior Battalion East (WWBn-E)

The focus of effort for WWBn-E is taking care of wounded, ill and injured Marines and their families as they proceed through the Integrated Disability Evaluation System process. With a full-time staff of more than 200 Marines, Sailors and civilian professionals, we are dedicated to ensuring care of our Wounded Warriors throughout the recovery and transition process.

There motto and emblem are shown below:
ETIAM IN PUGNA – “Still in the Fight”

motto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To read more on the Wounded Warrior Regiment, Please click here.

To read more on the Wounded Warrior Regiment, Battalion East, Please click here.

Fisher House

Lastly, while at Lejeune they made a visit to the Fisher House. Since 1991 Fisher Houses have been serving military families during times of medical crisis, it serves as a home away from home and allows military families to stay together during a serious medical condition.

To Read more on the Camp Lejeune Fisher House,  Please Click Here

statue of Fisher - Lejeunefront doors fisher house lejeune

 

 

March is TBI Awareness Month- are you aware?

 

March is TBI Awareness Month- are you aware?

Chrisanne Gordon, MD.

As a rehabilitation physician, Chrisanne Gordon, MD, thought she knew all about recovery after a Traumatic Brain Injury, (TBI) at least until she experienced her own. Dr. Gordon, quite literally, hit a brick wall with her head while putting up Christmas decorations. She was unconscious nearly immediately, and remained “in the dark” for about 20 minutes before she emerged, groggy and confused, and unable to speak. Her journey back to the “new normal” would take over a year – and would lead her to a new understanding about rehabilitation for brain injuries in otherwise healthy individuals.

She considers her own injury as the “boot camp” for what was to come – her work with veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, which left nearly 750,000 young men and women with injuries sustained by the blast of an improvised explosive device (IED), or the explosion of a rocket propelled grenade (RPG), or even the concussive forces of heavy artillery. It took Dr. Gordon a year to recover, with all the benefits she had available as a health care provider; how much more difficult it would be for our young warriors trying to reintegrate to the civilian world and navigate the Veterans Administration. It is for these military members, veterans, and their families that Dr. Gordon shared her personal story in the book, Turn the Lights On!,” available here and on Amazon.

Dr. Gordon, founder of Resurrecting Lives Foundation, with the assistance of writer Andrew Milller, is bringing this message of hope and recovery to TV and radio to spread awareness of TBI for our military members who may be injured in training as well as combat. She discusses her own journey back from TBI, while Andrew Miller skillfully integrates the recovery stories of veterans and even athletes in very personal accounts of injuries sustained from the battlefield to the playing field. This is a book of hope, with many resources for those struggling with this injury.

If you are a veteran who is experiencing the following, understand that these signs can be an indication of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and should be taken seriously:

headache

blurry vision

difficulty with bright light

ringing in the ears

excessive tiredness

memory loss or poor concentration

Symptoms like this can still be present months after the injury occurs. If you or someone you know complains about these symptoms, seek medical help.

Several pages of national and local resources are also included in the book. TBI is treatable and manageable when given proper attention. If you need more information, or if you wish to comment on any of the programs below, please contact us at info@resurrectinglives.org

Turn the Lights On! is a book of hope, with many resources for those struggling with this injury. To watch or listen to these brief but powerful radio and tv discussions, follow the links below.

 

 

Turn the Lights On! Book tour, Spring 2019

Let’s Just Talk with Kathryn Raaker- LIVE Aired Saturday, March 2: 10:00 am Link to listen Nationally syndicated radio show with three million listeners
 
Staying Young Radio Podcast released March 5, 2019 Link to listen Nationally syndicated radio show that airs on over 40 stations across the country
MyND Talk radio with Dr. Pamela Brewer Podcast released February 28, 2019 Link to listen March Nationally syndicated 30-minute daily radio show and podcast
Good Morning Cincinnati at 9 Aired Monday, March 4, 2019 Link to watch WKRC/CBS 12 Cincinnati, Ohio
San Antonio Daytime at 9 Monday, March 11, Link to watch KABB/Fox 29 San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio Living Monday, March 11, Link to watch KABB/Fox 29 San Antonio, Texas
Morning News Houston Tuesday, March 12 Link to watch KRIV-TV Fox 26 Houston, Texas
Live on Lakeside Monday March 25 11:05 am Link to watch WKYC/NBC 3 Cleveland, Ohio
Pittsburgh Now Air Date to be announced WXPI/NBC 11 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

 

March is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Awareness Month

From the Board: Christopher Brown, MD, MPH, FACP, FNKF

Christopher Brown, MD, MPH, FACP, FNKF

Dr. Brown is a kidney specialist working at Adena Medical Center in Chillicothe, Ohio. He is a board member of the Isabelle Ridgeway Foundation and a former board member of the YNOTT foundation. He serves on the medical advisory board for the National Kidney Foundation as well as the advisory board of Lifeline of Ohio. He is a member of the Resurrecting Lives Foundation Board of Directors.

As a civilian, one can take for granted the connection between civilians and the military. Over the last few decades there has been an erosion of understanding of our civic responsibilities. One unique make up of our democratic republic is that the military is under civilian control. As such the citizens of this country have a unique responsibility for our military. Through our votes, we indirectly determine where and with whom our military will be engaged. We also indirectly become responsible for individuals when they return home.

Membership has its privileges… and its responsibilities. While I think that American citizens have taken generous advantage of the privileges of being Americans, I’m not certain that we have shouldered our responsibilities as citizens of this great republic. Oversight of the health of our veterans, ensuring that our representatives are accountable for the outcomes of our institutions, is one of our unique responsibilities.

As a member of a family with members who served in the military during times of war and peace, including members who served in World War II, Korean, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars, I have come to realize the importance of that culture and our responsibility to those who have given so much for our benefit.

While TBI in general has a very ancient history, with descriptions in ancient texts, the use of explosives has increased its prevalence during war. The signature wound for our recent conflicts and wars has become traumatic brain injury, or TBI. While obvious head wounds cause TBI, closed head injuries can lead to TBI that can be more subtle in onset, difficult to diagnose, and have tremendous impact on not only the soldier who suffered the injury, but also the family that he or she returns to.

Diagnosing TBI can be quite difficult because it can present in multiple different ways and may manifest itself later than the injury. It requires a level of suspicion in individuals exposed to certain conditions, with the most important and common in the military being blast injury likely from an IED. Signs and symptoms of TBI in veterans returning from a war zone include

  • Behavioral, mood or personality changes
  • Difficulty identifying, processing or describing emotions
  • Persistent headache

Once a TBI is suspected, the veteran should be sent for formal evaluation, which will include a medical interview and exam, and likely imaging. The imaging may or may not reveal an injury; similar to TBI in football players, the imaging changes may occur years after the actual injury. The following are some of the clinical testing for evaluating a veteran with a history of TBI:

  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to evaluate the working brain
  • Neuropsychological assessment to help plan rehabilitation
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging to evaluate important tracts in the brain

For those who receive a diagnosis of TBI, referral for appropriate resources is necessary. Support will depend on the severity of the injury and should include cognitive retraining and ongoing monitoring as necessary.

While TBI is a complex disease, with appropriate screening and resources this is a disease that can be managed.

March is TBI awareness month. Join RLF in increasing the awareness of this disorder that affects so many of our returning warriors. As citizens, we have a duty to ensure that the veterans of our conflicts and wars are cared for; to ensure that those who kept watch on our behalf receive the treatment for injuries sustained while keeping us safe.