San Diego Brain Injury Recovery Walk

Corinna Auerbach, Reporter

Brain injuries are traumas to the brain that alter a person’s life in different ways. The San Diego Brain Injury Foundation (SDBIF) raises awareness and helps brain injury survivors. They do this by informing others and hosting events to raise awareness. Raising awareness of brain injuries is immensely important to the community. 

Brain injuries can be traumatic or spontaneous. Brain injuries have the potential to alter a person’s life both long-term and short-term. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur from a blow to the head and result in a disruption of the function of the brain, they are caused by an external force. A spontaneous brain injury can be caused by a stroke that is the result of a blood clot or a weakness to an artery or vein that bleeds and causes damage to the brain.

“The structures of the brain are designed to function in a tight space and any insult, especially a bleed outside of the arteries/ veins is like poison to the brain as an organ,” Trauma Nurse Practitioner at UCSD Health, Sara Couch, said. “The brain’s natural reaction to an injury is to swell/ become inflamed.”

Brain injuries have resulted in deaths and hospitalizations and they are a serious issue in the United States. Over 2.8 million people visit an ER, are hospitalized, or die as the result of a traumatic brain injury every year. In San Diego, over 11,000 people suffer from traumatic brain injuries yearly.

The mortality rate for TBI is 30 per 100,000, or an estimated 50,000 deaths in the U.S. annually,” the American Association of Neurological Surgeons said. “Of those who die, 50 percent do so within the first two hours of their injury.”

SDBIF is a nonprofit organization that has been serving the brain injury community for over 30 years. They have a goal to improve the quality of life for brain injury survivors. The foundation has a range of services, most of which are free, to support individuals, families,\ and professionals. 

“The San Diego Brain Injury Foundation has been providing support, education and resources for individuals, families and professionals since 1983,” SDBIF said.

SDBIF hosts a walk in San Diego that allows brain injury survivors and supporters to come and celebrate those who are recovering and surviving. It is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year and it helps them to provide services to those in need. The walk has been postponed due to COVID-19, but SDBIF is planning on rescheduling to Sep. 20.

It is a gathering of survivors, their families and friends who are all there to support one another,” SDBIF said. “In addition to the walk itself, we provide a health fair with many of the organizations and agencies who provide services to the brain injury community.”