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2017 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

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

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

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

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

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.

Client Served

Rating: 4

There are several support groups in the San Diego area, but this one is on the top of the best!
Thay provide resource information and speakers that bring valuable assistance to the survivor and caretaker. It is because of this group that I have found my major contacts and information for stroke rehabilitation. I owe much to their efforts.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

SDBIF is an essential resource and support for dealing with the world of brain injury care and recovery. TBI is one of those things no one can be prepared for.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Very informative, courteous and helpful organization! Appreciated their resources, creativity and willingness to listen/understand. Unfortunately, there is a definite shortage of resources and understanding in the area of traumatic brain injury. SDBIF is singlehandedly working to dispel misconceptions around TBI, educate and inform and advocate for a misunderstood and sorely underserved population. Thank you for the work you do, we are so very grateful!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Helping people with new and chronic challenges find resources and see around corners. SDBIF creates a supportive environment with many opportunities for interaction and education to help people understand and get perspective on brain injuries and the resulting challenges to survivors and loved ones.

Client Served

Rating: 5

San Diego Brain Injury Foundation has helped me find the resources I need to assist me in finding help as the caregiver and for my daughter who had an accident 15 years ago. The meetings they have once a month at Joyce Bearch are very helpful, they bring different speakers with a variety of themes. Susan and Stephanie will answer all your questions. Thank you for having a this free service for the community.

Susan338

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I sustained my TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) 6 years ago, I felt very alone. I lost my sense of smell and taste as a result. People that you once thought were your friends didn't understand the changes sustained from the injury. This became an eye opener as who your real friends are/were. Your whole person changes as a result of the injury. People don't understand the situation because TBI is an unseen injury; therefore you're fine in their eyes. Not so. My dad didn't believe In my injury all the way to the time he died 4 years ago. The people at the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation have been my emotional support and don't know what I would've done if I didn't have them. With them, I hope that one day people will not judge and/or discriminate against people with the unseen injury, TBI.

1 Barbara111

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!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I do not know what I would have done without the resources SDBIF have provided me and some of my BI friends! Life really changed for me after my head injury, no one seem to get me or I them. I received very little support or compassion after the injury, I felt so alone and confused. I attend a brain injury recovery center who recommended SDBIF to learn more about how to cope with my BI and meet others like me. SDBIF welcome me in like an old friend, I felt part of the family right off. The staff were helpful in finding resources, the monthly meeting provided me with much needed insights and the opportunity to meet others like me. SBIF gave me a place where I felt I belong and a home. I will forever grateful for the all the resources that were provided as well as the love and kindness I received from the staff.

With gratitude forever,

Martha Torkington

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Five years ago, my wife suffered TBI from an auto accident with aphasia, balance, and cognitive problems. T the same time, I became her sole caretaker. One of the best decisions we made was to get involved with SDBIF and its guiding force Susan Hansen. Through meetings, lectures and exchanging experiences with other survivors and caretakers, we have both not only survived a most unfortunate demand on our lives, but have improved goals for our future. My wife is now in her third year working towards getting her Master’s degree in Rehab. Counseling, and help other survivors. We are very thankful for the support, encouragement, and the understanding that we received from Susan and SDBIF.

12

Client Served

Rating: 5

At the hand of a doctor's care and oversight while I was in back surgery the blood supply to my brain was cut off for 8 hours, a clot was created which my body threw two days late on. Hence a stroke, a brain injury. I literally had to start from the begining to speak, eat, sleep, walk, talk and so on. Learned information was in the form of a cartoon book which lacked anwers for my serios questions of many. Through association with others suviving this eye opening set of circumstances I learned of the San Diego Brain Injuy Foundation. It as as though the lights came, a door opened, and those members, volunteers and the staff of all ages knew tips, tricks and answers to my unasked questions. They were right on the money with concern and care for my well being. SDBIF is an has a wealth of information and support in many of the facets of one's life. SDBIF is one of the bigest regarding Brain Injury in the state of California. Thank goodness for the members, volunteers and the staff for all that they provide for survivors, military and civilian, their families, friends and caregivers!