Monday, December 5 , 2016, 5:05 pm | Fair 58º


Walk for Brain Injury to Kick Off Saturday at Chase Palm Park

In the United States, approximately 1.7 million people experience a traumatic brain injury and 800,000 people experience a stroke every year. Brain injury survivors are at an increased risk of suicide, major depressive disorder and substance abuse.

Survivors are also 400 times more likely to become homeless than a person who has not experienced a brain injury. It is estimated that there are currently more than 22,500 people living with or caring for someone with a brain injury in Santa Barbara County.

The Jodi House Brain Injury Support Center is the only organization in Santa Barbara County focused exclusively on brain injury. Our day programs offer classes and activities to encourage the physical, cognitive, social and emotional rehabilitation. Our job skills program helps brain injury survivors regain the skills they will need to gain employment or volunteer positions.

Additionally, we host a Concussion Clinic in the fall for student athletes. This Cottage Hospital run clinic provides appropriate follow-up care and education for student athletes who may experience a concussion.

On Saturday, May 10, the Brain Injury Association of California and Jodi House will be hosting the 2014 Walk for Brain Injury. The event will take place at Chase Palm Park at 10 a.m.; registration begins at 9 a.m.

We encourage people of all ages and abilities to come enjoy the music, vendors and fun at the event. Constance McClain, former Montecito YMCA director and recent stroke survivor, will be emceeing.

McClain was very fit and in perfect health when two congenital holes in her heart caused her stroke almost one year ago. This shocking event drastically changed her life by limiting her physical abilities and her work at the YMCA.

The Walk for Brain Injury is an opportunity to support the Brain Injury Association of California, Jodi House, McClain and everyone in the community who has been affected by brain injury.

 — Eryn Eckert is executive director of the Jodi House Brain Injury Support Center.

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