The Real Stars of Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain Injury Blog

The Real Stars of TBI

by Janelle Breese Biagioni

It’s impossible for me to count the number of times over the past 20 years that I have heard someone say: “We need to find a celebrity to be the spokesperson for brain injury.” I have always opposed this for several reasons.

When a celebrity becomes the “voice” for any community, the community is dependent on the famous face to uphold a squeaky-clean reputation. Once the star’s face is plastered all over the news for any kind of scandal, in my opinion, the reputations of those closely affiliated with them are also tarnished. It may not be fair, but it happens. Another reason is I find it disturbing to think that brain injury will only get the attention it deserves if someone who is elevated to “star power” says that it is important. Finally, and most importantly, I believe that the real stars of brain injury are survivors, their family members and other loved ones who walk this journey each and every day. Period.

Individuals living with the outcome of a brain injury and their loved ones are an inspiration to all. Not everyone will require ongoing support. Some will require supports indefinitely and others may face additional challenges such as substance abuse or mental health issues. Many are able to return to work, albeit it, the work may be different or modified in some way. Each one is entitled to fair treatment, nurturing relationships, and community inclusion. And each person has the ability to contribute to society in meaningful ways. Let’s make a global effort to feature these people and their personal journey for they are the real stars.

January 16, 2012

2 responses to “The Real Stars of Traumatic Brain Injury”

  1. Janelle, I agree! We need to hear the stories of every day people who have experienced brain injury and have survived through it. Far too often stars or well know people have above average care and do not face the same difficulties of most people. Therefore, we need to learn about these survivors through Suport Groups and let them be our heros. It is true that more well known people can often get atention to TBI, but let’s not forget the millions of suvivors who don’t have this advantage and still make it through!

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