Thursday, May 7, 2015

do i stay or do i go?

2013 Brain Injury Awareness Campaign Bracelets
I have been working on getting bracelets for this years campaign {a little later than i usually start and June is right around the corner} and today I was talking about 2 different companies to deal with and Dennis made a comment that really struck home for me. He asked if that locally am I really doing any awareness? is it all online? most of last years bracelets (2500 of them) went to other places than Canada. The local Brain Injury Assoc. and groups dont seem to really help with spreading awareness. One association actually told me they would help and we would charge for the bracaelets. That is not my intent with getting awareness out there. I feel we need to spread the knowledge then we can try to raise funds.
The last few years I have purchased and personally mailed out my bracelets. I have made wonderful friends and connections to people but most of them are 100's or 1000's of miles away. I  do not charged for the bracelets and I also mail them out on my own dime. I DO think we need to educate the public to get them to understand about  Brain Injuries! So along with my bracelets i send out a letter with a bit of our story and some actual, AMAZING BI FACTS and I challenge people to educate themselves about BI's.

But this year I ask myself  "do i continue with bracelets or do I just forget it and let it go"?  I know lots of people think I do this just because of Sam and because he is not 'the norm' {whatever that is in the brain injury world} why bother anymore? Those people are partly right in that I started this awareness campaign becaus of Sammi. I started it because i felt i needed to help people to understand BI's. I needed to be able to talk to people who possibly knew what i was going through or understood my frustrations of people being un-educated about BI's .... but the last few years it has been more because of my dad. He is what most people assosicate BI's with... someone who 'looks' like he 'should have a brain injury'. He is a quadriplegic, he doesnt speak much and when he does it is muffled, broken, inappropriate {and usually heartbreaking for me}, he can not feed himself, he is incontinent and he has the mentality of a 7yr old or less. I do the bracelets for my daddy. I want people to know the reality of BI's, the reality of the silent crippler and the reallity of how it affects the lives of not only the survivor but the family and caregivers too. i want people to know about ambiguous loss and how it feels to sit and watch your loved one slip away from you bit by bit, day by day. to know how it feels to have to sign a DNR every year at the personal care home yearly care meeting.

That it is hard to watch is a given,
that is is hard to live this life is a given
that we should have to do it alone is not.
That we should travel this journey with out understanding from the world is not.
I want to help people to navigate this life with someone in their corner whom they can talk to and know that they will not judge or ridicule.
I want to educate the public to not judge or brush off BI's as a non-issue.
I want people to not be afraid to ask about BI's and to arm them selves with information about them so they are knowledgable about the basics  if it should ever happen to them or someone they love!

So i think i just answered my own question about whether or not i should continue with the bracelets...

i guess the bigger question is what do i do to get it to be more local (town, province, country) to get more awareness out there?!

Any ideas?

{i am getting a headache already! :-D }


Narelle Hawkins said...

Jodi - you have sent me bracelets in the past - and if it helps - many people have asked me what the meaning of my bracelet is. So yes - you are making a difference - I have been able to educate a lot of people over the past 5 years about TBI. Keep up the good work and I look forward to getting some new bracelets if you decide to continue with them. (Our old ones are really starting to show their age) Sadly we have nothing here in Australia to help spread the word.

Brandon Courtney said...

I would like some bracelets send me info as well had a good friend go thru this