BIAPA Conference Scholarship Profiles
The David L. Strauss Memorial Scholarship Fund enables deserving Brain Injury Survivors and Caregivers to participate in BIAPA's Annual Conference.
Here are some of their stories.
Mary Margaret Letteer
To be a Scholarship Recipient means that you are not alone. There are people who do not know who you are. They do not know your injury story, nor your personal and financial struggles, but they care and are generous to make a donation to improve your life and the lives of other brain injured persons.
To me, the opportunity to attend a BIAPA Conference provides the opportunity to learn the latest in research, to learn new therapies; to learn about and come face-to-face with state and community resources; to learn why and what is happening with my injury; to learn coping mechanisms, to learn how to navigate life , such as traveling with a disability; to have a night of “open mic” to express stories, thoughts and feelings; to meet in person some of those who are in the same online support groups as myself; to make new connections and friends of those with a brain injury; to be with others who completely understand what I am going through and to learn that I can survive my brain injury -- there is life on the other side.
Most of all, a scholarship provides additional support for rebuilding both a broken life and broken dreams.
I have been the recipient of a scholarship for the BIAPA Conference for several years. Every time I’ve received a scholarship, I have been so grateful.
I have five boys and in 2006 my son Justin was diagnosed with a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. Then in 2010, my son Eric was diagnosed with a Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury.
When Justin was in the hospital, I would get so frustrated every time someone said “We don’t know, every Brain Injury is different! “
I had an awakening when Eric was injured. I understood that “Every Brain Injury IS different!” Dealing with two sons with different Brain Injuries was difficult. I found that every year I was able to go to a conference, there was always some new information that helped me navigate, the medical, mental, physical, or legal aspects of Brain Injury that helped one of my sons if not both.
If it wasn’t for so many kind people who gave to the scholarship program, I wouldn’t have been able to go. I wouldn’t have learned as much or had the resources to learn. I can’t thank everyone enough for your donations. I would love to see other family members or caregivers have the opportunities that I have been given, even if they need some financial assistance.