Sunday, September 20, 2015

Support Brains, People

Brains matter and everybody has one (even if sometimes that seems doubtful).

Put yours to good use. Do something today!

Review your family medical history. Get scanned.

Rally Congress to Support S. Res. 176 and H. Res. 259

Sign the Petition  to officially make September Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month

Please give to
The Brain Aneursym Foundation 
The Betty Clooney Center for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury
The Aneurysm and AVM Foundation 

Wear a Bravelet
(and a $10 donation goes directly to 
Survivor Jewelry
or The Brain Aneurysm Foundation)

Lend an ear or a shoulder to lean on. Reach out. Help yourself and others.

Our brains need love and support! Your support could help someone survive!

Support by Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve

Wear a Bravelet in Support!

each bracelet purchased gives a $10 donation to Survivor Jewelry 
or The Brain Aneurysm Foundation 
or you can pick other Bravelet jewelry that shows support of a different cause. (There are a variety of styles, colors, and worthy causes)

Support truly matters! Breathe Brave and wear your heart on your sleeve.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Love me for my brains!
September is Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month.

What do
Quincy Jones (entertainer/producer), Sharon Stone (actress), Neil Young (singer / songwriter), Bill Berry (drummer, R.E.M.), Bret Michaels (singer, Poison), Tamala Jones (actress), Joni Mitchell (singer/songwriter), Scott Hamilton (Olympic figure skater), Della Reese (actress)... and me
have in common?

We are all Survivors of Brain Aneurysms.

What do 
Guy Williams (actor, Zorro), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (Congresswoman), Jeanne-Claude (artist), Anne Baxter (actress), Todd Barnes (drummer, T.S.O.L), Jerry York (IBM), David Mills (Screenwriter), Laura Branigan (singer), Rex Robbins (actor), and Betty Clooney (entertainer)
have in common?

They are all people we lost too soon to Brain Aneurysms. 

Sadly, half a million more people worldwide will die from ruptured brain anuerysms this year alone and half of those deaths will be people under the age of 50.

We all need to be more aware.
Brain aneurysm will affect 1 in 15 Americans. 
One will rupture every 15 minutes. 
40% of those ruptures will be fatal.

Love Your Brain.
Be aware of your family history. Be proactive. Have open and honest conversations. Get scanned.

For survivors and those fighting to survive, as well as for the people who love them and those who remember with love those we have lost, support is vital.

Show your support today!
Add-on to your own photos and show your support.

Give brains some love.

Our support and our voices matter... so do our Brains!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hope Horizon

During times of illness, trauma, & crisis, hope is an oasis, but often times it can feel like a mirage on the edge of the horizon.

Sometimes we have to wait for it.

Hope can shimmer in many forms: 
the elusive cure to come, the relentless pain to ebb, the overwhelming fear to ease, the sapped strength to return, and the paralyzing panic to cease. 
Or simply a promised visitor to arrive, a sturdy shoulder to cry on, a helping hand to reach, an understanding ear to listen, and a promise of help to become realized.

Hope is a belief in relief and survival.

But, like crisis, waiting isn't easy and can carry real weight. A weight that may not be adequately understood by those not carrying it and living with it daily.

It is not easy to quantify or explain. It can overwhelm and steal the voice we need to be heard. How do you tell someone what it is to be you? How can someone know what a gift hope is, when they are not trapped in needing it so urgently?

Time is different for those trying to survive and cling to hope. The waiting can make minutes feel like days and days feel like an infinity. Waiting can corrode our glimmers of hope, deepen our depression, and add to our stress. Waiting can take the fight out of us and leave us lost near collapse in the desert.

Withering in the heat with the relief of the oasis just out of our grasp. It's harder to maintain hope when you are watching the promise of it along what begins to seem like a ever distancing horizon.

Faith is not easy when parched. Hope can slip from our grasp while we wait.

Try to hang on. Seek for and cling to the hope you once had and believe in something... someone, anything, and anyone to make it through. It is coming. While the horizon may seem fixed in the distance, journeying towards it is the only way to reach an oasis of hope. We all need to believe that.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Prometheus Bride

In 1818, the novel Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, was published. (However, during its original release, the author was listed as anonymous.)

Despite many people's assumptions, Frankenstein was the name of the doctor while his creation actually remained nameless throughout the story (although the Creature himself on a handful of occasions likens himself to Adam, the Bible's first human). And, Prometheus was a mythological Greek Titan who created mankind for the gods, then taught man to hunt, read, and heal, but who was then chained and tortured by Zeus for stealing fire from the gods and sharing it with humans.

Bent on vengeance against the monster, Dr. Frankenstein struggles against his conscience and the weight of what he gave life to for the bulk of the book, seeking to destroy his creation. Meanwhile, the Creature grapples with his existence and isolation, reflecting with growing intellect and longing, but lashing out with violence. (Even more so, when the Creature loses his sole chance at companionship when Frankenstein chooses to destroy the monster bride he was creating to prevent unleashing another abomination.)

In the end, after the death of his creator, the nameless Creature, outcast from society and removed from humanity, sheds tears for the loss of his perceived father. He tells his side of the story to a single witness and walks off onto the desolate ice of the Arctic never to be seen or heard from again. Utterly alone. 

Survivors often find they relate more to the monster. Feelings of isolation and longing, issues of self-esteem and distance, internal rage and pain are often parts of the process of surviving. It is heartbreaking and disorienting to suddenly perceive ourselves as different and apart. Removed from who we once were and all we once trusted, we create a lonely landscape within ourselves.

The inspirational source of the book is often debated in literary circles. What began as a summer challenge to tell a story in a group of creative friends, has been labelled a subversive political tale of the Revolution, a suspicious reprimand at the advance of science and technology, and a Gothic romance born of the loss of her first child. (Mary Shelley was twenty years old when the book was published and she would eventually have three more children, but only one would survive childhood.)

Like the Creature and the book itself, we are all created from, inspired by, and evolve out from a complex source. We have to find our own way to and from the isolated landscape of our inner Artic. We have to learn and relearn who and what we are. 

We will rage and contemplate, rationalize and react, while moving through and away from the monstrosities of our trauma, crisis, and illness.

We need to cling to what matters and hold on to our own worth, even if we have to find beauty in the loneliness of the ice.

(Note: Over three decades after the publication of the book, on the first anniversary of Mary Shelley's death, her family opened up her writing desk. In it, they found locks of hair belonging to all of her children and the heart of her husband Percy Shelley wrapped in silk.)