The Masks

South Carolina

Name: John 

City: York

Brain Injury: All-terrain vehicle accident

Explanation of Mask: The camo colors on my mask represent my love of hunting, the peace sign is for my “inner hippie”, and I enjoy fishing….more poles equal more fish!

Name: Joe

City: York

Brain Injury: Victim of a violent assault at age 13

Explanation of Mask: Pain, confusion, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, rage, angst, minority, profiled.

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. 

Name: Justin                    

City: Charleston

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

Name: Kyle 

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                   

City: Columbia

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.

City: Warrenville

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: Lizzi                        

City: Greenville

Brain Injury: Stroke at age 8

Explanation of mask: “Frisky like a Fox” Because foxes are free like I want to be. They hunt to gather food for their young. My fox has Naruto whiskers on it.

Name: Luke and Lucky 

City: Greenville

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: Madelyn                

City: Greenville

Brain Injury: Brain tumor as a baby

Explanation of mask: Pink and purple favorite colors. Like all different colors.


Name: Megan        


Brain Injury: 

Explanation of mask: 


Name: James G.                 

City: Columbia

Brain Injury: TBI motor vehicle accident, normal conditions – head on

Explanation of mask: Expression of so many directions of the brain and heart.  The colorful view from the eyes of a TBI survivor.  

Love, love, love


Name: Stephanie (mom of James)                  

City: Lexington

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.              

City: Columbia

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. 

City: Anderson

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!

Name: Shane C                   

City: Lexington

Brain Injury: Hit my head, Automobile accident

Explanation of mask: Crazy mustache/unibrow insecurity

Name: Tate M.       

City: Mt. Pleasant

Brain Injury: Ruptured Brain Aneurysm

Explanation of mask: My mask is painted like a blue line because I was a police officer with an eagle on the forehead because I am an eagle scout; I am smiling because I am happy with my life.



Name: Tyron J           

City: Boiling Springs

Brain Injury: Received my TBI from impacting sidewalk and ice covered cobblestone during an ice storm.

Explanation of mask: My mask shows pain, anger, sadness, crying and drooling.  My mask also shows my injury.


Name: Valerie                

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!

7—–>18—->2016 VAL*

Name: Adonis

City: Hollywood

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.



Name: Artie                   

City: Goose Creek

Brain Injury: TBI Brain Injury was a cement finisher worker doing parking garages and driveway of homes

Explanation of mask: The color of the mask red is anger.  Greatful, tranquil, humorous, optimistic, vivacious.



Name: Cyndy                   

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: Damione

City: North Charleston

Brain Injury: Car accident

Explanation of mask: I am awesome because I am a friendly person.

I have the ability to be independent.

I can stay calm through anything.



Name: Danny

City: Hartsville

Brain Injury: Brain tumor at 42 years old

Explanation of mask: Challenges

Vision problems

Anger management

Poor organization skills



Short term memory issues



Spiritual journey

Word finding



Name: David A.

City: Columbia

Brain Injury: Suicide Attempt 

Explanation of mask: Shows both my intellectual side and my creative side.  When both sides work together they are more expressive.

Name: Dede N.           

City: Greenville

Brain Injury: 6/10/199 Car accident in Buladean, NC

Explanation of mask: Left frontal lobe,

Occipital lobe- moderate TBI

Red = trauma seen

Blue = sadness and physical damage

Mine is an invisible injury punctuated only by those things. I share in telling my story.

Name: Erica R.                  

City: Greenville

Brain Injury: Car wreck when I was 5 years old

Explanation of mask: I painted blue in the top left corner because that’s where my brain injury occurred. I used orange and purple because I love my Clemson Tigers. I cut out words and pictures that describe me.

Name: Frank               

City: Greenville

Brain Injury: Drinking, driving, no seatbelt.  2nd brain injury 

Explanation of mask: