The Masks

North Dakota

In partnership with

Name: Jean H.

City: Grand Forks

Brain Injury: 23 Feb 2005-hit by a semi-truck!

Explanation of Mask: The face designated what sometimes a TBI person feels.  The question mark designates the unsurety and the feel a person feels about what is the rest for him or her.  Life will turn out. 


Name: Brooke S.

City: Grand Forks

Brain Injury: I was upset and driving on a country gravel road.  I wrecked my car and went through the windshield because I was not wearing a seatbelt.

Explanation of Mask: Daily it feels like my thoughts, feelings and knowledge are in a tornado when nothing seems to go “AS IT SHOULD.”


Name: Dustin M.

City: Emerado

Brain Injury: Motorcycle accident in 2002.  Hit a Chevy Tahoe broadside.  I was in a coma for 21 days.

Explanation of Mask: Balloons are to be happy alive. Eyebrows mean indifference in making decisions and difficult.  The hearts represent my 2 kids.


Name: Rodger W.

City: Grand Forks

Brain Injury: TBI 8/6/1983, 11am near Cass Lake, MN.  Riding a kids motorbike going 10-15 m/h.

Explanation of Mask:  Short term memory is still very poor.  Frustrated and lonely.  Confused.


Name: Veronica D.

City: Grand Forks

Brain Injury: Injury to the temporal lobe from a fall in 2004. Unconscious short time.  I had a personality change.  I was told I swore like a sailor and slept a lot, walked like a chicken and mixed up words. 

Explanation of Mask:  Is a process just like recovery from it—denial to healing to obstacles to obsessions—only needing to be respected as a person not as a label and not having other speak for you—takes time but I am a warrior. 


Name: Larry

City: Emerado

Brain Injury: Car Accident

Explanation of Mask:  I like KISS!!


Name: Marlene J.

City: Devils Lake

Brain Injury:  On October 2, 2007 I had a surgical procedure that sent 7 blood clots to my brain stem causing multiple strokes at once. 

Explanation of Mask:  The confusion of thought-thinking clearly, difficulty thinking.


Name: Michael S.

City: Rolette

Brain Injury:  Hit in the head with a hammer at age 6.

Explanation of Mask:  October 31st and 9pm clearing a half-moon.


Name: David G.

City: Devils Lake

Brain Injury:  Fell down a flight of steps.

Explanation of Mask:  Lightning bolt represents unseen scar tissue, stitches represent healing process, 2013 is when the injury occurs, purple represents a bruise that will never fade, stars represent the journey not yet completed. 


Name: Kim S.

City: Devils Lake

Brain Injury:  I sustained my brain injury in a car accident in January of 1991.  I was in a coma for 2 weeks and in the hospital for 3 months.

Explanation of Mask:  My brain injury is like this mask.  It may be beautiful on the outside but it masks the pain and the uncertainty on the inside. 


Name: Mitchell S.

City: Sheyenne

Brain Injury: In 2013 I was working up on the roof and as I was trying to put on my harness, I took a step back and fell through the roof.  I fell 16ft and now have a TBI.

Explanation of Mask:


Name: Hannah A.

City: Leeds

Brain Injury: Nearly fatal car accident in November of 2007.

Explanation of Mask:  I have always been interested in pageants. When I was in the hospital I became great friends with Miss Minnesota America 2007. Miss MN helped me overcome my stage fright.  Since then I competed in 2 pageants.  From then on, pageants have become another chance to make brain injury awareness known. 


Name: Christopher

City: Dickinson

Brain Injury: Benign rare tumor , Type: Multicell, front-right temporal lobe.

Explanation of Mask:  Throughout the process of discovery, extraction, and recovery the three most important things to cling to during my incident was remembering my priorities. The prayer and family support was incredible and my faith deepened in greater spirituality and gratitude for my life.

Furthermore, I couldn’t help but constantly think of how blessed I was to have been born in this country and have access to modern medicine and world-class neurologists at John’s Hopkins Hospital.

Name: Daryl 

City: South Heart

Brain Injury: ATV Accident 

Explanation of Mask:  Thoughts of fun.  Cruise on ships, farm life, mother nature’s beauty, and eat good BEEF food.  

Name: Maxine

City: Dickinson

Brain Injury: Cyber Knife Surgery, St. Joseph Hospital – St. Paul

Explanation of Mask:  Had surgery on February 14th, 2011.  Three days of intense radiation.  The tumor was to disintegrate and pass through my body.  The radiation was too strong for my body, my brain swelled for 3 months later causing seizures and paralysis.  The last five years have been dedication and a mystery each day to live.  Very hard to read and write and remember what I read.  Eyes do not focus well.  Everything is gone – you have to learn everything again.  I was a teacher – can’t read, write, spell, coordination is bad.

Name: Sandy

City: Dickinson

Brain Injury: Had it 48 years ago in 1969 when I was 3

Explanation of Mask:  Feelings in different colors.

Name: Bill

City: Bismarck

Brain Injury: Left frontal lobe damage due to multiple gunshot woulds with a .25 pistol in the fall of 1985

Explanation of Mask:  Depiction of the gunshot wound to the left frontal lobe of the brain.  Destroying many cognitive functions of my brain.  Leaving me with paralysis and loss of short term memory.

Name: Linda

City: Bismarck

Brain Injury:  In 2008 I found out I had one brain aneurysm. The doctors said they would watch them. 4 months later I was going to have surgery on my back. Then they (doctors) said we have to send me to Minnesota to have the aneurysm clipped. The doctors did all kinds of tests. That’s when they told me I had 3 aneurysms. So I had surgery Jan. 30th, 2008.

Explanation of Mask:  My mask has many scars.  Not only me but many.  My life now sometimes it feels like knots in my head.  Don’t know if I am coming or going, but time does matter.  The brain surgery saved my life.  The aneurysms are clipped.  I am doing good, life is good.

Name: Alexander

City: Bismarck

Brain Injury:   I was a passenger in a rollover car accident and was thrown out of the vehicle. I landed head first on the road. I received a TBI (traumatic brain injury) fractured pelvis, collapsed lung, bruised heart and lungs, fractures to my face and skull and almost lost my left eye.

Explanation of Mask:  Life changed completely after my accident.  I was a teenager and had to learn how to do everything all over again when I was recovering.  I was 18 and would have been a senior in High School but missed my last year and graduating with my class.  When I returned to school I was treated terrible by the kids at school.  I lost most of my friends because they really don’t understand me.  I have physical and cognitive difficulties.  People called me a retard and a moron and they look at me funny all the time.  I wish they would treat me better.  I am still me inside.   I feel broken sometimes.

Name: Randee

City: Bismarck

Brain Injury: Encephalitis, 90% blind in the left eye

Explanation of Mask:  Due to an allergic reaction to a vaccination shot that prevents chicken pox at 10 months old, I got encephalitis.  I have a learning disability, short term memory loss, frustration cuz people don’t understand me.  As I got older, I lost vision in my left eye due to the encephalitis.  I’m 90% blind in my left eye and sensitive to sun, light & wind.

Name: John

City: Center

Brain Injury: The TBI event occured 3 1/2 years ago when my skull shattered after being struck from cycle by horse

Explanation of Mask:  Accurate depiction of TBI.  Actual copy of X Ray showing subdural hematoma.  Received X Ray from surgeon about three years ago.

Name: Jeremy

City: Bismarck

Brain Injury: Traumatic Brain Injury.  A lady decided to make a left in front of me.  I ended up flying 26 feet in the air and landed on my head.

Explanation of Mask:  This event drastically changed my life.  My mask shows how I feel slimed with 1/3 of my brain on my left side gone.  Makes speech and other things in my life difficult.