Helping Others Since My Traumatic Brain Injury

by | Mar 15, 2023 | Dogs, Service Animals, Veteran

I’ve been on a journey since a traumatic brain injury changed my life. Through this experience, I’ve learned that we can overcome adversity and strive to live to our optimum potential. To test how well I am doing, I use the gifts that have been given to me since my injury. One way I have done this is by training dogs and seeing the lives of veterans and first responders change because of it. This has brought me more joy and friendship than ever before. With the right network of support, we can achieve remarkable outcomes despite what may feel like an impossible situation.

Finding Joy in Training Dogs

Since getting married to Mark, my journey accelerated with a passion for training dogs and helping others. Seeing the transformation of a dog’s behavior when they understand your commands brings tremendous joy into my life. What’s even more rewarding is being able to share this newfound love with people who need it most—veterans, first responders, those living with disabilities, and so many more. Words cannot express the feeling of joy that comes from seeing someone experience something new for the first time thanks to a trained companion animal.

Adapting to New Challenges

This journey has also taught me about adapting to new challenges in order to thrive after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). After experiencing TBI myself, I learned quickly that things would never be exactly as they were before—but that didn’t mean they couldn’t be better! With patience and understanding from family members, friends, medical professionals, and caregivers, we can create a new reality full of hope and opportunity despite our limitations or disabilities. We all have different ways o f responding to changes in our lives; however, there are always pathways forward if we are open -minded enough to find them!

The Power of Community Support

Finally, this journey has reminded me just how powerful community support can be in helping us reac h our fullest potential after trauma or disability occurs. Having access to resources such as peer mentorship programs or support groups is essential for those who may feel overwhelmed by their current circumstances or lack confidence in their abilities. There is no shame in asking for help; often times it takes a village for us to face our fears and make progress towards recovery!


My head injury changed my life forever—and not necessarily for the worse! By using what was given back to me after my injury—like my passion for training dogs—I was able to find joy again while also helping others heal along with me.

My story serves as an example of how we can respond positively when faced with adversity by adapting our expectations and taking advantage of all available resources within our communities. No matter what challenges you may face due to illness or injury, know that there is still plenty of opportunity out there waiting for you if you are willing to look for it!

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Serving Those Who Served Our Country

Making sure more of our heroes get access to the help they need is a priority, and Canines For Heroes is working hard to make sure that all veterans have access to life-saving service dogs. Those of us blessed with good health must do what we can to serve those who served our country. We can donate money or goods, volunteer with organizations such as Canines For Heroes or just spread the word about their mission and mobilize our support for our struggling veterans around us. Every dollar you give directly helps in placing service animals with veterans who are on the waiting list for assistance. It may not seem like much but it does go a long way towards making a tangible difference in the lives of our combat veterans and helping them heal from trauma. Together, we can give back to those who’ve given so much in honor or duty and have sacrificed immensely for our freedom, health and safety.