Name: Ross C.
City: Anderson, SC
Explanation of Mask: I was 16 when my wreck happened. January 15, 2003 is when it happened. I died twice but am now living my life the right way!!
I love any kind of hunting, I also love Clemson
I am a hardhead ( that is represented by a hammer)
I love Jesus
The eagle stands for freedom, both in this country and in my body. It’s time for me to accept that I may have a few disabilities but I have so much to give.
Name: Jason T.
City: Belton, SC
Explanation of Mask: My blood runneth orange and purple. I love my Tigers! I am very positive because I have faith. I am “ALL IN”
I will never look back because I am happy with the person I am. It is hard to remember the person I was. Short-term memory loss makes it difficult to remember five minutes ago.
I am living life with love, I see beauty in everything.
I feel that I am amazed and thankful to God that I am alive.
I can be a big flirt. I love to make people feel good about themselves. I am loaded with love!
“Cream of the Crop” is my way of saying that I strive each day to rise to the top of my abilities!
Name: Blaine M.
City: Williamston, SC
Brain Injury: In 2005, I wrapped my Pontiac Firebird around a tree. The roof of the car struck me in the head, causing a TBI Severe dysarthria means I must now communicate using a Samsung tablet.
Explanation of Mask: The black and yellow side represent life before the wreck. I had just enlisted in the US Army and completed boot camp two years before the wreck so I chose the athletic colors of the US Military Academy at West Point.The green on the other side represents growth, opportunity, and optimism. I chose this color because I believe my wreck was the rain in my life that God is using to grow me into the person I was created to be. It has provided me with the opportunity to grow into the person I am supposed to be. On the top right, I put the word ” stronger” because instead of making me angry and weak in self-pity, my wreck made me a stronger, more thankful person. At the top, I put the Hebrew name for God, Jehovah Jireh. This name means ” The Lord my provider”. Like I said, my wreck was a gracious provision of God to develop me into a tool for His unto His glory. Not only did He provide that opportunity, but He has given me the grace I need t see that purpose in the midst of the difficulty.
City: West Columbia, SC
Brain Injury: I was 42 years old and fell off of the toilet. I could not get right. I called my son. My son’s mother came and drove me to the hospital. I had suffered a stroke.
Explanation of Mask: My stroke was confusing because I did not know what was going on with me. I woke up on a Sunda evening and I could not move. My family were the ones who told me I had a stroke and a brain injury. I felt angry. My speech was gone.
Now I am determined to get my speech back and the strength back in my right arm and leg. I am powerful because I am regaining my speech. I am optimistic because I don’t know what my arm and eg are going to do, but I am willing to find out.
Name: India R.
City: Winnsboro, SC
Brain Injury: The explanation of this mask describes the after affects after having this brain injury. I am strong, compassionate, affectionate and positive. I have a very high self-esteem of confidence. I feel as if “God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.” I’m becoming more independent over the years and even more heartwarming. ” Giving up is never an option” in my book, even when thing become rough. You just have to keep your head high and do things that are going to benefit you and your family. I want everyone with disabilities to stay strong and to remain confident.
Name: Shelia B.
City: Lugoff, SC
Brain Injury: I had a CVA while cooking breakfast for my nieces. I began to feel funny so I drove myself to the hospital. When I got there I could not speak. I slipped into a coma for 2 weeks.
Explanation of mask: When I woke up from my stroke. I had to be taught how to walk again and how to turn my head all the way to the right to see the whole room. It is like I am split in two. My right side is very heavy and my left side is normal. I have half of my vision but thank God I’m still here!
Name: Antonio G.
City: Columbia, SC
Brain Injury: I was in a bad car wreck.
Explanation of mask: Even though life has many changes, you don’t have to change unless you want to. The things that we go through in life are how it’s supposed to be. Everything happens for a reason. It’s either you want to win or you don’t, I made a choice to win and not lose.
Name: Berline M.
City: Columbia, S.C.
Brain Injury: I was 32 years old when I had my stroke. I also lost my vision during that time. I was in a coma for two weeks.
Explanation of mask: After my brain injury I was able to find my identity. I just did not know what to do. So no matter what comes your way you can always look up to our heavenly Father, we can still say thanks. In this fleshly body, you have to embrace the good and the bad. You know something, both the good and the bad can help us become more mature about life. It can also help our character of who we are today. Teaching us to not focus on the bad thing that has happened but to stay focused on the good thoughts and move forward. Always take time to sit back and look at the situation, look up and then look into oneself…Stay away from people with negative minds because you have enough on your plate. Remember, we all have different gifts, no need to compare oneself with others.
Name: Benjamin P.
City: Charleston, S.C.
Brain Injury: Traumatic Brain Injury/Stroke
Explanation of mask: For my mask, I chose to use the colors gold, blue, red, purples and green. Each color serves its own purpose towards the mask. For example, the color gold was used to outline the hair of the mask as a symbol of my golden days. They are still here as long as I keep the faith and continues to progress daily. The color blue was used for the eyebrows to show the times where I feel lonely and depressed. The color red is used for a representation of all the blood that has been shed during the time of my accident. Purple, however, was used for the bags under the eye to show that I am really tired and worn out. The color green is displayed on the chin of the mask as a symbol of the financial burden this whole progress has placed on my life.
Name: Shawn B.
City: Columbia, S.C.
Brain Injury: My brain injury was sustained through driving under the influence of alcohol.
Explanation of mask: My mask symbolizes the ThinFirst Program in which I am VIP. The black which is over the mouth shows the damage to my speech that I sustained due to my car accident. However, it also symbolizes the voice I have gained by advocating for people with brain injuries and helping kids prevent them. The red represents the Unversity of South Carolina, in which I was in law school with and the black is the unfinished goals I feel I left behind.
Name: Eddie W.
City: Lexington, S.C.
Brain Injury: Acquired injury due to having a stroke.
Explanation of mask: Shows two shades of blue, while blue is my favorite color, that the lighter blue is the day to day thoughts I have. The white shows unfinished, the emptiness. The dark blue is a little darkness at times. But the yellow is the burst of sunshine that my family brings to my life.
Name: Brooke C
City: Rock Hill
Brain Injury: Motor Vehicle Accident
Explanation of Mask: The dark left side of my mask represents my life before my accident, which was going down the wrong path. The right side represents my life after my accident, which is given to God and now much more bright. I owe everything to God and I am so thankful He changed my life and saved me.
Brain Injury: Hit by a car in 2009-April 17th-TBI
Explanation of mask: Blue coloring all over the mask to show –Determined-to have a good life despite injury.
-Red eyes represent “frustration” – seeing things you wish you could do
-Yellow represents “quiet” – change after injury
City: Fort Mill and Lexington
Brain Injury: Several injuries, most recent was motor cycle wreck, right frontal, right temporal lobe
Explanation of mask: Kids can get lost if you don’t tell them what’s going on with you. Have a family member talk to them if you are unable to. “Be like water” is a Bruce Lee quote.
Cross over month is for watching my tongue and spreading my faith to others.
Child represents my daughter Amelia, dog is for my dog Deuce. Both of them help put me at ease.
Name: Laura V
Brain Injury: Ruptured AVM and hemorrhagic stroke (2006)
Explanation of mask: The mask is unfinished because I am a work in progress. The gray represents confusion and depression. The vibrant colors also show the unexpected joy the brain injury has also provided via relationships and personal growth.
Name: Les Paul M.
Brain Injury: 3 concussions, 2 brain aneurisms, coma survivor, AVM, cranial removal, 15 metal clips, and a porcelain plate in my head but still alive and kicking
Explanation of mask: The colors of paint the struggle of recovery. I am happy to have recovered to the best of my ability but I’m sad that society is still judging people with TBI.
Also our legislator and leaders have created a society of have and have nots in the disability community and especially need to end the Federal Marriage Penalty against people with disabilities.
Name: Luke and Lucky
Brain Injury: Luke- TBI from lack of oxygen to the brain in the early 2000s. It caused Luke to have a short term coma and travel an ongoing 17 year road to recovery.
Lucky- TBI from a bicycle accident without a helmet 5 years ago
Explanation of mask: The crossword puzzle represents all the answers are floating around in our head; but sometimes hard to from the answers. The eyes in the forehead represent the missing eyes in the mask; they are the true eyes. The hat is there, because we all wear a hat of some type. And the chompers represent our talk for nourishment and symbolizes our speech door.
Luke and Lucky are good friends. Lucky is an essential part of Luke’s rehab; and Luke helps Lucky with his rehab as a morale support. Lucky helps Luke ride a recumbent bike in Greenville, SC.
Name: Stephanie (mom of James)
Brain Injury: 9/28/13 motor vehicle accident
Explanation of mask:
There’s a lot going on in hi head that’s under lock and key.
It’s confusing/scary to deal with after effects from injury/chaotic why ?’s, why can’t thing work like they’re supposed to: walking, moving, talking
Name: Nicholas F.
Brain Injury: I fell from the top of a 2 story building crushing the back of my skull and fracturing the top 2 vertebrae in my neck. Massive frontal lobe trauma.
Explanation of mask: The fire represents paid. Bad wolf represents my calm happy place, and the blood splatter pattern represents all of the years I paid with blood to simply survive. The ninja mask represents my love of martial arts
Name: Sabrina K.
Brain Injury: Massive cerebral hemorrhage from AVM rupture in 2001
Explanation of mask: The left side that is green represents my life before the injury. It was good and normal but nothing special. The right side that is pink represents my life now. It’s my left side of my body that is paralyzed and reminds me of how blessed I am. It shows happiness and joy. Life after the injury is much sweeter!
City: Mt. Pleasant
Brain Injury: Misdiagnosed, wrong medications. Did not get the right medical help until permanent damage had occurred head to toe, “Dame bramage.”
Explanation of mask: This has been a metamorphic process thorugh trials of tears as I accepted my coccoonint towards recovery. Green to grow from being one person to another. “Yellow” is it “me” you’re looking for? Orange you glad to be alive? Feel your spiritual awakening to find a new purple paradise.
On the Los Amigo’s scale,
There is no pass,
There is no fail.
This complex trail we travel on,
Also has no magic wand!
Back and forth or up and down,
Weave new webs,
Achieve new ground.
A broken crown is on your head,
A sight unseen, grateful not dead!
Hope next exit for this chick-a-dee,
Thanks to all who stand by me.
What I will learn,
Where I will go,
God has my plan,
That’s all I know!
Brain Injury: TBI cause July 14, 2009 from a car accident
Explanation of mask: I feel appreciated because people trust me and respect me.
I am very loveable.
I am a wonderful uncle, brother, son, nephew, grandson.
I am proud to graduate high school.
I am determined to get my G.E.D.
I am hurt inside!
I am glad to be alive.
City: N. Augusta
Brain Injury: Roll over car accident my junior year in college
Explanation of mask: Van Gogh painted “Starry Night” from the window of his asylum room. It was just before sunrise and he added a village. So to me, it reminds me that even when you feel trapped inside, there’s always a sunrise and you can always change your view.
Name: Carly C.
City: Anderson, SC
Explanation of Mask: My mask represents how much I love life. Purple and orange are my favorite colors. They are vibrant and happy, just like me! I’m happy to be living a full life and I’m a strong person because I have fought many battles since my brain injury. I don’t always win, but I learn and become stronger through each battle Life is full of fun and love if you choose to seek it!