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Success Stories

How Elayne Uses Her Injury Journey to Advocate for Brain Injury Survivors Nationwide

In 2015, Elayne was diagnosed with a concussion after falling in her home and hitting her head. After two years of struggling with daily functioning and life skills, she decided to go to a doctor to better understand the cognitive challenges she was experiencing. It was only then that she was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. Elayne contacted our NeuroRestorative Pennsylvania team and joined our Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT) program in 2018, where she began participating in in-home cognitive rehabilitation.

CRT is a life-sustaining therapy vital to many individuals’ recovery from brain injury and well-being. Our programs provide restorative and compensatory treatments to improve cognitive systems’ function in various activities and train people to use strategies for specific problem areas. Cognitive functioning includes memory, attention, perception, learning, planning, and judgment.

Although Elayne experienced great success in the CRT program, she has struggled with paying bills, affording the cost of nutritious food, house chores, and feeling productive due to the memory and health challenges she faces from her brain injury and available resources. “I was close to ending up homeless and alone,” said Elayne.

Now, Elayne’s mission is to help people going through similar challenges by raising awareness of the invisibility of a brain injury and advocating that assistance is required beyond the tools provided in short-term physical rehabilitation treatment. “Without NeuroRestorative, I would not have survived. My choice now is to give back, empower people with disabilities, and work within the system to help those who are going through a brain injury to help bring costs down and bring people to a place where they can become more independent,” said Elayne.

In 2019, Elayne started advocating for increased funding for the TBI Act, increased reimbursement rates for CRT therapists, and raising awareness about the similarities between brain injury and hunger, poverty, and domestic violence. Elayne is active in the Community Services Advisory Council and Neighbors Leadership Council for Greater Pittsburg Community Food Bank. She is also a Brain Injury Association of PA (BIA-PA) ambassador and a BIA-PA Resource Line volunteer.

In March 2024, Elayne visited Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to honor Brain Injury Awareness Day with the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania and Feeding America. Elayne met with various state representatives and the Brain Injury Task Force to tell her story and highlight brain injury as a chronic condition while advocating for staffing improvements, insurance coverage, and in-home care. At NeuroRestorative, we are proud to be part of individuals’ journeys to recovery, like Elayne’s, and to support their passions and government relations advocacy work.

Success Stories