Vanessa & JoAnna go to Brain Camp!!
Every year, the LoveYourBrain gang gets together with Zeno Mountain Farm folks up at their beautiful land outside of Lincoln, VT to hold a retreat for brain trauma survivors, their loved ones, and their friends. JoAnna is very excited to be returning to Brain Camp for her second year- last year was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about brain injuries, practice holistic health and healing (including food and diet, yoga and meditation, and alternative therapy) and, most excitingly, connect with others who are going through similar experiences. It was an amazingly positive experience in her TBI recovery for which she is extremely grateful- and she’s super pumped about returning!! This year Vanessa will be joining JoAnna and her brain friends at the LoveYourBrain retreat in a dual role as TBI caregiver to JoAnna and as a TBI survivor!!
The 5 day retreat is free for us to attend. The organizations who make this possible are LoveYourBrain and Zeno Mountain Farm. To help them defray costs and raise money, all attendees and other friends/camp supporters fundraise through and participate in the Vermont City Marathon on the Brainfarmers Team (...get it? LoveYourBrain + Zeno Mountain Farm? hehe). Please consider supporting our marathon team to continue providing support and healing to even more brain injury survivors.
To learn more or get a refresher on our TBI’s and these two organizations, read below…
In October 2014, JoAnna got thrown between some cars while riding her bike near her home in Minneapolis. She was taken to ER where she received a craniotomy to evacuate blood that was crowding her brain to half of her skull. Three weeks later she was discharged, and while initial recovery was swift, she continues to struggle with some prolonged TBI symptoms, such as migraines and low physical and cognitive energy, and how to balance these symptoms with her previously hectic lifestyle (that is no longer so hectic).
In June 2007, Vanessa was vacationing with her family “Up North” in Mercer, Wisconsin when she sustained her brain injury. She was thrown from an ATV (and was not wearing a helmet) and her head landed on some jagged rocks. Her sisters came back to find her unconscious. An ambulance was able to back down the trail, take her to a local hospital from which Life Flight flew her to Duluth, MN. There she received a craniotomy to relieve pressure on her brain and slowly stabilized. A few months later Vanessa returned for her final year at University of Wisconsin - Whitewater where she graduated from the College of Business with honors. Almost 10 years later, Vanessa’s most interesting TBI effect is her anosmia, or inability to smell.
LoveYourBrain is a nonprofit that “aims to improve the quality of life of people affected by traumatic brain injury” by working to connect, educate, and empower people to live brain-healthy.
Zeno Mountain Farm hosts gatherings and facilitates projects that build community through art, film, theatre, sports, music and adventure; Zeno aims to nurture lifelong friendships among people of any and all backgrounds and abilities.