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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

92 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Responsive, professional, dedicated staff. As a healthcare professional, I appreciate being able to connect patients and families with this incredible organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a Ruptured Brain Aneurysm Survivor!!
It’s sooooo nice to have this Group to lean on.
Much Love & Big HuGs from my Family!!

Mary M.18

Client Served

Rating: 5

SDBIF was there to support my family with answers and resources when my son was injured in a ski accident and we did not know what kind of recovery he would have. We have attended many meetings and learned so much from the presenters. The scholarships they give are also a wonderful way of supporting survivors of brain injury towards continuing their journey towards their goals.

Sarah H.11

Client Served

Rating: 5

After years of struggling to get help for repetitive head injury from electroconvulsive therapy, I connected with San Diego Brain Injury Foundation. I wish I'd met them a decade ago! Within minutes they'd helped brainstorm transportation issues. Later they connected me with a variety of resources I didn't even know existed. The personalized needs assessment helped me brainstorm supports that have improved my quality of life. I'm so grateful for Kurt and the others at SDBIF. Now I don't feel alone in navigating the world of brain injury.

Patsy S.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

SDBIF is full of survivors, loved ones, professionals and friends who want to help make a better quality of life for this community. I've been fortunate to have been involved with this group for many years. Honesty, integrity, compassion, dedication, focus, and hard work, is what I've seen. Other groups are copying this model, as it gives a leg up to brain-injured people. "You are not alone."

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Megan Hurley & I’m a traumatic brain injury survivor from 2008. When I left the hospital over 11 years ago, I received no information about my injury, the care I needed, & the ways my life & my family’s lives, would change forever. The San Diego Brain Injury Foundation & Stephanie Bidegain are incredible parts of the community to help survivors transition home from their initial injury and continue to empower them with support & guidance. Brain injury is more prevalent than people realize & than people talk about. Every 23 seconds someone in the United States suffers a brain injury each year. (Source www.ninds.nih.gov) Survivors need recovery resources now more than ever, & more public support & education. For 2 years, I've led team WALK STRONG WITH MEGAN in the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation’s annual Headstrong Walk for Brain Injury Recovery Resources, because I've experienced what is not available for us. In 2017, I published the story of my accident & journey of recovery; Hope Survives: Strength After a Traumatic Brain Injury with all proceeds donated to SDBIF.  I'm very proud to be a part of the SDBIF. I'm dedicated to being a VOICE of HOPE & STRENGTH for brain injury. I will not be a silent survivor because I want to speak for those who no longer can. Let's JOIN our BRAVE voices together.

Phelicia H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my son was hit by a car and suffered a severe brain injury I was at a loss. I didn't know anything about a brain injury. I google help in our area and found the SDBIF. They were so pleasant when I called asking questions for aide and knowledge. Just listening to the concerned voice on the other end made me feel like I wasn't alone in this journey. When my son was able, we attended the annual brain injury walk. Love poured out from this event, seeing others further along or some a little behind my son's progress gave me such hope and happiness for our new brain injured life. I would recommend this nonprofit to those effected as well as others who just want to learn more about brain injuries and give support to the community.

Lauren K.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son suffered a severe traumatic brain injury 4 years ago. It is a very co.pmicated and scary situation to suddenly be thrown into the complicated medical world of brain injury. The San Diego Brain Injury Foundation is a wonderful group of volunteers that provide support, networking and community outreach to provide help when it is needed most. They have a "how to" book given to newly injured families to help navigate the way.
Thank you SDBIF.❤

dangardner

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I appreciate the valuable education and support that the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation gives to the community. And I enjoy reconnecting with my friends and colleagues at the Friendraiser to celebrate our close collaboration.

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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

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Sabrina P.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the best time at this event. The wine and food tasted amazing. The artist and their stories were overwhelmingly inspiring. It was a night to remember.

Brandi M.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SDBIF is a wonderful, thoughtful and inspiring non-profit organization that helps MANY survivors (as well as caregivers, families, etc.) with brain injury find supports within their area for a better quality of life. They also hold monthly meetings to help build a brain injury community and share about community resources. The website is EXTREMELY helpful in providing several different types of resources to survivors, etc., including: San Diego county meeting list, food resources, housing information, community events and many more!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I think i got my 1987 brain trauma injury re injured in the San Diego Superior family court divorce proceedings whereby the family law attornies have taken $300,000 of my retirement at age 60. I really need some bti advocacy. Do you know an attorny who might be a good bti advocate and legal support on my behalf?

Kami C.

Donor

Rating: 5

My brother Kyle G. Cooprider has been a part of the SDBIF family for many years. Once he arrived from Germany, my parents Patti and Coop Cooprider found SDBIF on Saturdays to be a place Kyle felt accepted and welcomed! Kyle even gets to joke and speak a bit of German with Chuck (thank you Susan) - and another at ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) speaks German at Mesa College. Kyle, being connected like this, and adding the Ken Goldman's Art Classes -- they keep Kyle saying "I'm Kyle with a Smile" when I'm not "Vinci Van Kyle". Thank you SDBIF. Kami

Board Member

Rating: 5

SDBIF is a great resource for TBI survivors and their families. They provide informative monthly Saturday meetings for survivors, families, and caregivers. The guest speakers are very knowledgable and present the information at the appropiate level for TBI survivors.
The Survive Headstrong Walk for Recovery, Golf Tournament, and Friendraiser are annual events that SDBIF provides for the brain injury community that brings survivors, families, and friends together.
SDBIF provides survivors activities such as Day of Art and Friday Night Liberty (which highlights survivor artists.)
The SDBIF website has a wealth of information and resources.

I am proud to be a Board Member of this wonderful organization

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of volunteering with the SDBIF over the summer of 2018. The organization is very welcoming, and is a great support network for individuals who have suffered from a brain injury. The leadership is strong and organized, and values each and every member of the org as its own. For example, there are special events for members to take part in, and parents are welcome to join and are also provided support. Activities are fun, therapeutic, and bring closeness to the members. Proud to have been part of a great foundation!
-Jena G

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The San Diego Brain Injury Association is a very helpful resource for anyone who has experienced a brain attack. I have worked in physical rehabilitation as a recreation therapist and know the importance of having support for the family and survivor when the initial rehab is completed and their new life begins. Susan and Stephanie are very helpful and friendly and work collaboratively with many rehab centers to build that bridge back to the community. Thanks for all you do!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was so fearful about the future, and reeling from the overwhelming sense of loneliness I was experiencing after my husband suffered a stroke. I felt like I was the only one who was going through what I was going through, and I was desperate for relief. I learned from a friend that stroke is just one of the many types of traumatic brain injuries, and that I might find some help for myself at the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation. I called their number, and the very kind and patient person who answered the phone that day invited me to attend one of their meetings.

At that first meeting, I met other caregivers who assured me that they understood what I was going through. I also heard some very real and practical ideas for getting more support for myself as well as for my husband. Perhaps the most important benefit we have received so far from participating in just a few activities with SDBIF is that my husband now knows people with brain injuries who are living full lives. And those people and their families are more than happy to share with us what they did to get to where they are today.

I am quite grateful to the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation. I feel like I have friends there.

1 guzman19

Board Member

Rating: 5

Informative and impactful - SDBIF is a wonderful non-profit for those injured and their families. Tremendous resources and support!

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Professional organization that truly shows they care about this community

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As retired teachers, we are happy to be volunteers for SDBIF. It is a hard-working group doing good things for many people who have had unfortunate set backs in their lives. They do their tireless work with good cheer and optimism. It is great to be a part of this.

Gary and Andrea Matthews

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2

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As retired teachers, we are happy to be volunteers for SDBIF. It is a hard-working group doing good things for many people who have had unfortunate set backs in their lives. They do their tireless work with good cheer and optimism. It is great to be a part of this.

Gary and Andrea Matthews

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was introduced to the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation around four months after I came home from college at 18 with major compound concussions and a diagnosis of never being able to care for myself on my own ever again. My parents had no idea what to do with me, and didn't understand the major change in my personality and behavior. They were given little to no instruction by my neuroscientist at the time and were just as lost as I was. SDBIF gave me life skills tools, classes, and a renewed sense of strength and hope that I could be independent again someday. They provided my family with information, support, and resources; they felt that they were empowered in their role as caretaker. I left the program feeling that I would recover - perhaps not that I would ever be the same again, but that I could live a life worth living.
A little over 10 years later, I am now in my final semesters of a masters program to become a marriage and family therapist to help other families like my own find their own strength and hope in light of the fear that TBIs bring. I am convinced that if it wasn't for SDBIF, my life would not be what it is now!

1 Susan K.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My brother Richard suffered a brain injury at birth 65 yrs ago. He never quite fit in...Howard House and SDBIF has given my brother new friends and a family of caring professionals.
Thank you
God Bless
Susan Knob

1 Barbara111

Client Served

Rating: 5

SDBIF has been by far the most helpful agency in the life of my son who is a brain injury survivor! Without the input from their staff and volunteers, my son's life would be very different and much less fulfilling. They provided me guidance after the first shock of his accident, and then ongoing care and support as he worked his way through his new life. They have an amazing array of resources to share with anyone who needs it!!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

SDBIF has been instrumental in helping our family through the maze of information and disinformation about my son's brain injury. Without their guidance at a critical time in our lives, I doubt that our outcome would be nearly as positive as it has been. Their monthly meetings are so helpful for both survivors and their families/careproviders that it is hard to miss one.

SDBIF is a wealth of knowledge about resources, activities, educational opportunities, and counseling. Recently a friend of mine also suffered a brain injury of a very different type than my son's injury. I knew immediately how to get her involved with SDBIF and their adjunct services. She has told me how grateful she is for the outreach and support they provide.

This is a unique organization that is extremely well run by very compassionate people who have immediate knowledge about brain injury - not just a bunch of goody-two-shoes college graduates with no experience.

If you ever need anything related to acquired brain injury in the San Diego area - this is THE place!!

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 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.