Beyond the Summit: TBI Awareness
Organized by: Shannon Carlson
Cajun Crushers Crush Endeavor Games!
July 10, 2017
EVENT DATE May 07, 2017
Join me as we raise awareness of the dangers of concussion and support the millions of people like me living with traumatic brain injury. According to the CDC, 2.5 million people sustain a TBI annually, of which 87% are treated and released...I was one. Please watch my video and read my unique story.
I suffered a concussion during a swim accident while training for the Ironman, and then struggled for 14 weeks with post-concussive symptoms before completing the race in 2012. Feeling invicible, I began climbing high altitude mountains around the world, placing my injured brain in hypoxic environments and continued to ignore the signs of mild traumatic brain injury: Dizziness, memory loss, emotional liability, blurred vision, impulsivity, sensitity to light and headaches.
After reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro at 19,341 ft., struggling with the effects of high altitude cerebral edema and upon returning home; I had multiple seizures. Nearly a week in ICU and a month in a rehabilitation hospital, I found myself in a wheelchair with balance and ataxia issues; short term memory loss; the inability to process information or care for myself. I remained in outpatient therapy for 3.5 months.
Nearly 2 years since Kilimanjaro, I'm still in physical and speech therapy to improve my balance and executive functioning. With sensory deficits, I no longer watch television, listen to music, or engage in many social activities. Relationships are difficult and I become confused in busy environments. I battle neural fatigue, headaches and cognitive overload. My memory fades depending on the day and emotions are ever-changing. Nothing in my life is the same.
Ultimately, I took control of my care and built an amazing team of professionals around me. One that is strong and has positioned me in a place to finally give back! I'm inspired every day by people living with disabilties, those who are survivors and the caregivers who walk by our side. So I'm moving from the wheelchair to the walker, to the cane and now my running shoes, to run my first marathon. The Pittsburgh Marathon. A feat that will be a large challenge for me in ways that far exceed distance.
Please help me create awareness so that mild traumatic brain injury has our attention and the respect it deserves. That we respect warning signs and realize that It can happen to any of us.
All donations will benefit TBI Awareness and the Cajun Crushers, a program dedicated to promoting and inpiring people with disabilites to live an active lifestyle. Your donation will directly support parapalegics, quadapalegics, amputees, and others as they realize their potential and compete at the Endeavor games later this year and allow me the opportunity to reach as many people as possible with my story. Help us end the silence of TBI.
Thank you to my family, the Baton Rouge Rehabilitation Hospital, the Cerebrum Health Center, and the people who walk by my side on a daily basis. A sincere thank you to my entire health team, the very best; to HOKA OneONE and to the Love Your Brain Foundation for providing resources to live a strong life.
We can do this. Please help me extend our reach. Thank you!