October 2003 Jason Foundation Newsletter

Dear Friends,

When Jason came home from the rehabilitation center, one of our greatest needs was to have someone who understood brain injury who could help research and coordinate the services he would need long-term.  After The Jason Foundation established Brain Injury Services of SWVA, this vital assistance became available to adult survivors and their families in the Roanoke and New River valleys.  Since July of 2001, more than 100 families have been assisted in maximizing the recovery of their loved ones and finding resources to adapt to this life changing “family disability”.

This year it’s as if we have come full circle.  In January, BIS of SWVA received a state start-up grant to begin offering to children and their families the same service that our family needed.  Whether a child has suffered a mild or severe brain injury, there is now a place to turn for help.  BIS of SWVA is one of only two organizations in the state offering Pediatric Case Management.

In an effort to convey what these services have meant to so many families, we asked a local family to share some thoughts with you.

“When our 12 year old grandson, Joshua, fell from a tree and received a severe brain injury, our lives changed drastically.  We adopted him a year later, and there was even more drastic change.  For a year we struggled on our own, as best we could.  We knew nothing about brain injury or where to find help.  Then, by God’s grace, we found The Jason Foundation.  Through this organization we found friendship, understanding, and information sources we had so long needed.  We found genuine caring attitudes, and people who truly did understand the difficulties of living with and trying to help a brain injured survivor.  Through The Jason Foundation was born Brain Injury Services of SWVA, and our then sixteen-year-old son was their first client.  We received case management services to help with his educational plans, behavioral challenges, and future vocation, as well as tremendous support for our family.  We are deeply indebted to The Jason Foundation for all it has done for us, and for how their love and caring continues to reach out to others who are facing the same difficulties we faced.  We know that God sent them to us at our time of need.”

                                                                                    Pat Hall Guthrie
                                                                                                Mother of Joshua Allen Guthrie

Such words encourage us to continue our efforts to bring critically needed services to families and survivors of this largely unrecognized public health issue.  With the addition of a part-time Administrative Assistant to The Jason Foundation, Greg and I are able to participate more effectively in statewide meetings, work more productively towards the stabilization and growth of Brain Injury Services of SWVA, and lend more assistance to public awareness venues such as the annual “Transcending Brain Injury” Conference for Southwest Virginia. 

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we strive to continue to be of service to survivors of brain injury and their families.  We ask that you share our news with those who may need us, and those who may wish to support us.  Please let them know that their gifts are tax deductible, and most sincerely appreciated.

God bless your lives!  
Fran Rooker, President

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