I am honored to serve as Executive Director of Opportunity Project, a non-profit organization which has served adults with brain injury located in Millburn, New Jersey.
Since 1993, we have supported our members as they navigate the devastating after-effects of brain injury along with educate the public about brain injury awareness.
In response to recent remarks regarding brain injury in American troops, I am compelled to dispel any misconceptions about how brain injury affects that forever-changed person.
Some have experienced a “traumatic brain injury” (falls, motor vehicle accidents, violence) and others have incurred an “acquired
brain injury” (strokes, brain tumors, brain hemorrhage). Most are not familiar with what the “after” entails, both for the individual who has endured the brain injury but for those who love them.
There is typically a permanent disability which includes a loss of independence, lack of direction and monumental shift in the roles played within their families and in the community.
The deficits often seem invisible when are no other outward physical manifestations.
The recovery process spans many years in most cases and funding is scarce.
Most people are not familiar with brain injury, and would not necessarily be aware of the toll this type of injury causes.
I encourage the public to become a force in prevention: don’t text / drink and drive and practice safety to prevent falls and other avoidable situations.
Thank you for your consideration.
Rebecca Gallanter, MSW, LSW
Executive Director, Opportunity Project