We are a community organization that supports local brain injury survivor Tom Hapka and raises awareness about traumatic brain injuries.

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Living With and Surviving a Brain Injury



This is what an injured brain looks like. This is what my brain looks like.


If we met at the store or on the street, you probably couldn’t tell that I continue to struggle with major complications from a life-threatening brain injury that completely changed my life. You’d probably take one look at me and think I’m completely normal and doing quite well. I couldn’t really blame you. On the outside, I look like everyone else, but looks can be very deceiving.


Years ago, I suffered a massive brain injury that completely changed my ability to move, think, function, and live my life. My life today is very different than it was back then.

Before my brain injury, I had plans to take a great job out in New York. Now, I am unable to work outside my home, and even inside my home, I still can only work sporadically due to my health issues.


I used to go to football games and concerts, shop for my own groceries, and go for long walks on the streets of my favorite large cities. Today, being in large open spaces leads to intense dizzy spells that can leave me on the ground convulsing and unable to stand or walk.

Football games and concerts aren’t even a remote possibility for me these days. My favorite city streets can make my damaged brain whirl. Shopping for groceries is often a frustrating and humiliating experience as I can’t navigate the aisles and shop for myself. If I go to the store and the staff won’t recognize my invisible injury, I literally get sent home without food.

All of this makes living with a brain injury so difficult.


I refuse to accept that my life will always be like this. I’m determined to get better. My road to recovery is long and I still have many, many miles to go… but there is hope.

There are rehabilitative specialists who work with brain injury survivors just like me. There are doctors and neuro-pharmacologists. There are nutritionists who could help stabilize my body’s chemistry. There are neuro-optical rehab specialists who can help me regain some of what has been lost.


I'm not giving up. Recovery is a far way off, but with everyone's support, I'm confident I will get there. And hopefully my story helps raise awareness and inspire others who are struggling in similar ways.

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