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September 14, 2012 (San Diego) -- It is estimated that 11,000 San Diego county residents are affected by brain injury. When a person is brain injured, families’ lives are turned upside down. There can be marital stress, job-related issues, legal or financial problems, and more. After insurance runs out, or progress from rehabilitation becomes difficult to see, or physicians say they’ve done all they can do, the traumatized families feel alone and left to cope on their own. Parents and siblings may have to become caregivers.

To support these brain injury survivors and their families, a “Friendraiser” event is planned for Sept. 22, 2012 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Mission Trails Regional Park. Medical and other professionals, friends, neighbors and survivors of traumatic brain injury will come together to strengthen relationships, support one another, and raise money for services that benefit those affected by brain injury.

“Brain injuries can be caused in any number of ways,” says John Fiske, president of the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation. “Whether it’s sports-related injury, car accident, stroke, war zone injury, or an accident at work, people’s lives are changed forever.”

The event is sponsored by the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation and will include wine, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, art work by brain injury survivors, entertainment, and astronomers with telescopes.

The public is invited. The cost is $50. To register, call 619.294-6541 or go to www.sdbif.org.  Proceeds will be used to provide support and services to brain-injured survivors and their families.

 SDBIF provides information, referrals to specialized agencies and services, produces educational DVDs, publishes a Brain Injury Guide for Families, operates a long-term residential care facility, called Howard House, offers emotional support and more. “Recovery from traumatic brain injury may take years,” says Jerome Stenhejem, MD, rehabilitation specialist at Sharp HealthCare. “There comes a time when survivors and families need the kind of support that comes from others in similar situations, and finding these community resources may be difficult.”

Mary Lewis is an Allied Gardens resident and former board member of SDBIF.  “I’ve seen the good being done by SDBIF and other agencies; the assistance they provide to survivors who are striving towards independence. It’s now the main charity that I donate to.”

For more information visit www.sdbif.org