Welcome to my March on for Brain Injury Fundraising Page. This is where you will hear my tragic and inspiring story. Please help me support the Brain Injury Association of New York State by making a contribution to my fundraiser and sharing this page with your family and friends. Every dollar I raise will advance the Brain Injury Association of New York State's great cause! I hope that after you read below, you will join me in my goal of fundraising, spreading awareness and education!!! In the end, I want you to join Team Lil Tank and share this page. Together we can make a difference.
On November 18, 2016, I was more than your average 19-year-old. I had everything going for me: I was a straight A student, with a passion for horses and an ultimate goal of becoming an equine veterinarian.
On November 18, 2016, I had a bright future ahead of me. My dad drove me up to Cornell University that day. After meeting with staff, I was informed verbally that they would accept me into the college - all I had to do was keep my grades and turn in all of my paperwork. Imagine hearing that your dream school would accept you and your future was in the palm of your hand.
My future was bright and all my dreams were looking like they were going to come true. Little did I know that would all come to a horribly, tragic, and preventable end.
November 22, 2016, will forever stand out as the day my life changed forever, in more ways that anyone can ever imagine. That day, I went to school to get an education. I went to learn. I attended an equine class that day and got thrown/bucked from a horse. An incident which was preventable. As a result, I sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”). After receiving this life altering diagnosis, I ended up being diagnosed with a central nervous system disease called RSD/CRPS as a direct result of the TBI. RSD/CRPS has no cure, and is the most painful disease in the world, above cancer, amputation and child birth.
My family was struck with tragedy that day. We’re still a family in tragedy because I will never be the person I was on November 18th. To be honest the only reason I even know about the 18th is because of social media and my family; if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t remember that trip ever happened. I also planned on shadowing an equine veterinarian in the Summer of 2017 and doing an independent research project with a professor in the Spring of 2017. That dream went down the drain too. I went from being a 4.0 in college, too struggling with things like math, reading, spelling, and writing. Even the easiest things, such as opening a drink, and tying my shoes give me a hard time. There are times when I can’t remember my age, the year, the month, what I did yesterday, and, oh and last week - yeah that’s long gone!
That day changed me, I no longer recognize the person looking back at me in the mirror, I don’t know this person and I don’t know this brain.
This story is a parent and a child’s worst nightmare, even though it is my reality. It is a story that every parent, guardian, aunt, uncle, relative and child need to hear and learn about. Imagine sending your child to school to obtain an education - instead they receive injuries that will directly affect every aspect of their life moving forward. However, there is something you can do to help those who have suffered and those that will unfortunately suffer in the future. There is an organization in New York called the Brain Injury Association of New York (which is the local chapter of the Brain Injury Association of America), that helps those with brain injuries. They named me the 2019 March on for Brain Injury Young Adult Honoree of Long Island. As an Honoree, I am determined to raise awareness about brain injuries, prevention and help raise funds for the Brain Injury Association and I am hopeful you will help me in this journey. Together I know we can help make a difference!