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San Diego Brain Injury Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Brain Disorders, Health

Mission: To improve the quality of life for brain injury survivors and their families living in San Diego County.

Results: Much of our efforts this year has been to maintain the programs and services we currently provide for our survivors. This includes our monthly supports group meetings, our helpline and newsletter.

Target demographics: Primarily survivors of all ages, their a families and caregivers of San Diego County. Our website, however, allows us to reach the brain-injury community throughout the country.

Geographic areas served: the brain injury community of San Diego

Programs: Helpline, monthly support group meetings, newsletter, hospital outreach program, speakers bureau

Community Stories

69 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SDBIF Takes incredible efforts and consideration to make a positive change for people and families affected by Brain Injuries. They find ways to make fundraising fun and bring people together. It is a wonderful organization with a fantastic goal and members!

1 dangardner

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

San Diego Brain Injury foundation has provided excellent education and support to numerous TBI survivors and families with whom I have worked over the past 40 years. I applaud their tireless dedication and ongoing high quality services. San Diego is fortunate to have this organization as a resource.

Dan Gardner, MD
Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association
Voluntary Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UCSD School of Medicine

Previous Stories
1

Advisor

Rating: 5

As a treating doctor of TBI survivors and their families, as well as past board member, I've appreciated the high quality of educational and supportive services of the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation. Its leaders are dedicated, caring and compassionate. I salute SDBIF's contribution to the San Diego community.

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1 Jason B.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SDBIF is dedicated to helping those with acquired brain injury. They provide outstanding support for those injured and their family

1 Heike K.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great organization, dedicated, ethical people! So many wonderful events for the brain injury community in this area--the Survive headstrong Walk, the annual Friendraiser, and more recently, the Day Of Art for survivors to explore their creative and expressive talents.

Proud to be a Board member!

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The San Diego Brain Injury Foundation serves the brain injury community in many exemplary ways through its survivor-focused activities, such as Art Day, First Friday at Liberty Station (to highlight survivor artists), and excellent monthly educational guest speakers. SDBIF also brings survivors, families and professionals together in great events such as the annual Survive Headstrong Walk, the Golf Tournament, and the Friendraiser featuring music, art, food, wine, and crafts produced by survivors. I am proud to be a Board Member of this wonderful organization!

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an SDSU university student working on my master's degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling (helping person with disabilities find careers and employment). At the suggestion of one of my professors, I began volunteering with the SDBIF in 2014 and have made almost every south county meeting and event they have put on. At the once-a-month Saturday morning meetings, I help with set up and break down of the tables and chairs, as well as listen closely to the guest speakers that come to speak to the average of 30 persons per meeting about issues of significant interest to this population. They are an invaluable asset to the rehabilitation community in their promotion and advocacy for people who may have congenital deficits or Traumatic Brain Injury. They help with issues ranging from the simple task of inputting information into a smart phone, to navigating the programs offered by SSI and SSDI. For anyone desiring to volunteer for a good cause, this group is it and they do need this continued support from the foundation.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was referred to the SDBIF about 3 years ago by Southern Caregiver Resource Center. I first went to a couple of meetings around December and realized what a great group of folks were working together to help those who had brain injuries. They did a Christmas skit with professionals and clients alike and it was a hoot.

What struck me most was the folks who spoke at a couple of the meetings. One was a lady who worked at San Diego State in the research department who herself had been in an accident and had a brain injury. This injury manifested in many odd behaviors which even her colleagues had trouble dealing with. She looked quite normal and she spoke with her usual cadence but she had difficulty with memory and moods etc. She would cry "at the drop of a hat". This alienated her even from the colleagues in the same department where she worked. Her condition was improving steadily and she was able to do more and more as time passed. She was an inspiration to us all and she and her husband were committed to finding ways to help those who had Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI's) and Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI's). Also the information that I got from the Brain Injury magazine was helpful in preparing a program for the court to help our son get some mandatory treatment. I was able to list and research groups and classes which allowed us to begin a program of recovery for our son.
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It also struck me that the SDBIF Group were open to new, innovative and pioneering types of therapy and treatments for brain injuries. They had someone give a presentation on Homeopathy. I had been to other meetings where drugs were the order of the day and odd and questionable behaviors were always classified as mental illness without much consideration of the cause. This was not the case with this group.

Since I am an avid proponent of more natural and non-invasive therapies I am always interested in what is happening in functional medicine vs the more drug/cut/burn protocols that are promoted by standard medicine. The SDBiF is open to all the modalities of treatment without condemning or condoning any one in particular. It is entirely up to the participants and their caregivers to make their choice what is best for them.

I was given options and information without hesitation. Everyone I spoke to was kind and friendly and very helpful.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

In the wake of our daughters brain injury, we were absolutely unsure of what was to come for her. The SDBIF stepped in prior to her discharge to educate us on brain injuries and their resources. We had a unique opportunity for our daughter to attend the SDBIF Brain Injury Learning Center. She is thriving. All of the staff are interested in the best interest of the clients they serve and do all things with loving hearts. I am indebted to the SDBIF and often refer people for services or simply to volunteer. Thank you SDBIF.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a stroke in 2005. I attended many SBIF meetings. I was able to speak with other people with brain damage. Sometimes only people who have been thru the same thing actually understand. For example, I would tell a friend that I had memory issues and the friend would insist she had them also. She had no idea about my type of memory issues and another survivor would.

The meetings always had useful speakers addressing the real needs of the brain injured community. Some of speakers spoke about accessing social services or learning to cope.

The San Diego Brain Injury Foundation creates a community of people addressing both the survivors and their caregivers.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SDBIF provides outstanding service to the brain injury survivors in San Diego County along with support to caregivers. We are fortunate to have them right here in San Diego!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Excellent and practical information and resources to empower the individual with a brain .injury.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

SDBIF provides very helpful meetings every month, sometimes with lecturers that I personally had during my rehab therapy at Sharp hospital. They also provide many opportunities for brain injured people to play adaptive sports, and have various groups to join.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As 2016 comes to an end, my pride and awe for this organization continues to grow. This group has been tireless this year. I am most proud of the connections we have made in the community and the collaborative projects we have completed. So happy that we finished the revision of the family handbook and that we are working together to get it delivered to our local hospitals; that our fundraising has been successful--enabling us to donate to both the Brain Injury Association of California and the Brain Injury Association of America; that we were able to continue our mission to educate and support survivors and their caregivers; that we could sponsor the Walk celebrating the victories of survivors; that Howard House continues to serve the purpose of a safe and healing residence for survivors; and that we continue to look for other opportunities to support brain injury survivors in San Diego county. Feeling blessed to be a part of SDBIF

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was impressed that SDBIF was staffed primarily by volunteers-survivors, family members, professionals in the field and others interested in supporting the quality of life of survivors. In joining this band of 'go getters', I found tireless efforts to raise funds, identify need, educate and reach out to other organizations to strengthen the network of support for the disabled. I am proud to be a part of SDBIF.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I Barbara Bates have been an active member of the Brain Injury Foundation for a few years. I am a brain injury survivor. I am very happy to be a part of this Foundation. I am with people that are learning strategies to cope with a brain injury. Before learning about the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation. I was in a circle that was crazy and a good life. I learned and believed that I have a brain injury. My life is not in a circle anymore. I have friends and people that are learning more strategies in coping with a brain injury. I am taking classes in their Acquired Brain Injury program at Mea College. I am learning to organize my stuff. I now can take a supply out use it.Then put it away. This makes my bedroom more livable. Along with being an artist. The Brain Injury Foundation of San Diego allows me to show and sell my art. I am coloring in an adult coloring books. It is very relaxing. I am learning to communicate better with myself and my communication is more effective to others around me. Mostly I am learning to be kind to myself and those around me. I am learning something new everyday about my injury plus I understanding things better. I am safe getting on and riding the bus. Best of all. I feel safe now.
I am a part of one big family. Thank you to The Brain Injury Foundation and Acquired Brain Injury Program teachers and friends my wonderful family and friends. I see differently now. I am very grateful for your support.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 16 YEAR experience with THE San Diego Brain Injury Foundation has always been exceptional and timely. Whenever I phone them, I always receive prompt and totally helpful information, to aide me in my quest to try and overcome what ever obstacle I am currently facing. They have been kind and very understanding... (something that an ABI injured person doesn't always receive: It is an injury that, sometimes, doesn't show) The resources they refer me to are accurate and timely. Sometimes, it is just speaking with me kindly and slowly until I can get a handle on being able to describe my need. I feel safer because they are always there for me.... I have been, for the most part, able to navigate the 'mazes' life throws in my way, due directly to their help and kindness. We are lucky to have the resources we have in San Diego.... ONE OF A KIND!!! GREAT WORK!!!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello, my name is Raymond Ruffin, I suffered a gangolia stroke in 2011 and participated in the
SDBIF program on the Mesa college campus. It is the one major factor that have enabled me
to be a survival.

I met some the compassionate and caring friends ,teachers, and therapist there are to be found anywhere at anytime on the face of the earth. I suffered depression and cognitive
problems. These affected my self esteem, mental awareness, and memory.

When I withdrew from the program I was able to enter into mainstream life and function
acceptably and appropriate. I am still using the skills and understanding of my condition
to help me cope, and very well , I must say.

I am using memory and cognitive brain techniques learned in the classes taken during my
stay in the program, I even told my doctor about how competent the program is!
To this day, I still miss the day to day interactions that are common in the program and
I recommend the program for any patient that suffers a brain injury,no matter how sever or
simple, the program is magnificent and I can personally say I know of no one who has
participated that doesn't have high regards for the program, teachers, or comrades.

This program should be more widely recommended by physicians world wide, it offers
support and knowledge,understanding, and compassion for survivals and care givers
that can make the difference between thriving and just surviving!

THANKS SO VERY MUCH , SDBIF and ABI program

Ray Ruffin

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son recently had a TBI and the SDBIF has been there for invaluable support, information, and hugs. Susan Hansen and her team have been so engaging and helpful. She has taken the time to respond to all my emails and encouraged my son in his recovery. I find the monthly seminars in Hillcrest and Encinitas very useful; what i have learned about TBI through this amazing Foundation has been critical in my son's recovery. Thank you, SDBIF!!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful foundation that has allowed my wife to live a close to normal life that many doctors would not have seen possible. God had blessed my wife when he put these caring and loving people affiliated with this foundation in front of her. My wife suffered a severe brain injury and was only given a 3% chance of living and the the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation was the last step in my wife's recovery. Without the foundation I am not sure where my wife's progress would be. I will forever be indebted to this foundation.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We happened upon this fine organization a few years ago and have assisted them with mailings and other things. We are impressed by the caring folks who work so tirelessly for the many people they are helping in so many ways. It is hard to imagine a more worthy group.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

SDBIF helped us so much when my husband suffered a massive stroke. We attend the presentations which are interesting and informative. More than that, it's good to be around people who also have the same experience and are dealing with brain injuries. SDBIF has created a community of caring support for us.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2001 my husband had a brain injury. We saw many doctors but felt like we were on a bicycle with no seat and no handlebars! Then we found San Diego Brain Injury and became involved. There is a huge variety of various ways a brain can be injured and you will hear honest testaments from those attending the monthly meetings. Each life of the person, their families, and caregivers are all touched in numerous ways. San Diego Brain Injury reaches out to those it knows about and provides informational help and suggestions. I would suggest if you are feeling like you're on that no seat/no handlebar bike that you reach out to this valuable grass roots organization.