New website with youth brain injury statistics

There’s a beautiful website you can go visit that gives a wonderful breakdown of how often young people get brain injuries and how those injuries tend to happen.

We encourage folks to check out this website: to see the images and information!

As you look at the different images and information, run your mouse along the screen. When you stop your cursor on the name of the different sports, even more valuable information pops up. It’s a great way to get informed.

This site is brought to you courtesy of Gordon, Elias, & Seely LLP, a law firm in Houston, Texas.

Brain injury information website research study opportunity

Ginnifer Mastarone is conducting a study about accessing online information about brain injury. Here is a description of the study and who can participate:

The goal of the study is to determine if a brain injury web site is helpful to brain injury survivors. Ginnifer also wants to see it if it is helpful to other people who need information about brain injury. The study will measure how useful the web site information is, how understandable it is, and how usable it is.

What participants will do as part of the study:

  • Complete an interview with Ginnifer at either the Hillsboro Public Library or the Central Library in downtown Portland. The interview will last 1 to 1.5 hours
  • Complete a cognitive (thinking) test
  • Answer a short survey
  • Look around the web site for information
  • Give Ginnifer thoughts and opinions about the web site

What participants will receive for participating in the study:

  • $20 for your time and as a thank you for participating
  • An opportunity to help make website information about brain injury better

Please click here to read more project details and how to get involved.
Anyone who may be interested in participating should contact Ginnifer Mastarone at or call (971) 258-2116.  Feel free to leave a message, it is a confidential voicemail.

Exciting new research opportunity in Portland

Check out this flyer for a very cool looking opportunity in Portland. Hadley Pearce, who is studying at the National College of Natural Medicine wants to hear from people who have had a brain injury.

Flyer for nutrition research


Here’s the text that’s on the flyer:

What: We are looking for volunteers to participate in a research study of the role of nutrition in recovery from brain injury. Participants will be asked to attend one focus group meeting of 60-90 minutes to discuss how or if nutrition was considered in their treatment after brain injury.

Who: To participate in this study you must:

  • Have experienced a brain injury in the last 5 years
  • Be between 18-55 years old
  • Not have another serious mental health diagnosis or neurological disorder including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia or cognitive decline
  • Be able to communicate clearly and fluently in English.

Why: Your involvement will help us learn more about patients’ experiences and the current role that nutrition plays in the recovery from brain injury.

Participants will receive a $15 gift card to New Seasons for taking part in the study.

Where: The study will be conducted at the Helfgott Research Institute at the National College of Natural Medicine in SW Portland.


If interested please contact study coordinator Hadley Pearce at or by phone at 503-552-1885

Principal Investigator Dr. Leslie Fuller, ND can be reached at 503-522-1833              IRB #: 09182014A


A bonanza of books and more

New media recommendations from Peer Support Coordinator Brian Liebenstein are here! Since Brian is both a peer with brain injury and a journalist, you know he’ll have great recommendations for books, movies, and resources! Here’s what Brian shared with us recently:

In searching brain injury on some internet tools don’t feel alone if it feels like you are digging in an environment as dingy as a salt mine. However, if you never give up you can uncover books and other material that will, hopefully, leave you feeling like you have hit the mother lode in a gold mine.

Here are just two glittering finds I’ve come across: Brain Injury Survivor’s Guide: Welcome to Our World (Paperback); 2007 by Larry Jameson  (Author), Beth Jameson (Author) – This was an informative and hope-filled volume providing perspectives from both the injured (Beth’s) and care or support-giver (Larry’s) views. Hopefully, others will find it easy to navigate as well as helpful and inspirational, as I did. There are enough chapters and stories for many in the brain-injured community to recognize themselves or their support system besides their friends or un-informed acquaintances. The Jamesons do a great job of keeping the writing non-technical except for the few cases when they show knowledge that the brain-injured or their family and friends will be helped by having a medical term for problems or challenges to provide to doctors. This is a great book. It includes a tip for memory help based on BRAIN as a remindful acronym that is worth getting the book for but which is merely a pittance of its value. You’ll feel Blessed to read this.

Another blessing to those with brain injury searching for something that has at least some familiarity to them might be found in a documentary DVD created to relate some of the many varied levels of injury within the brain injury spectrum. Here’s hoping the following entry from the Washington County Collective Library System’s website proves informative and helpful.

Format: DVD, Videorecording, Projected Medium, Visual Materials
Title: Brain injury dialogues [videorecording (DVD)] / written and directed by Lyell Davies & Rick Franklin ; produced by Lyell Davies/Bainneclaba.
Edition: PBS broadcast version
Publisher, Date: [El Cerrito, Calif. : Brain Injury Dialogues], 2011, c2008.
Description: 1 videodisc (52 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.
Contents: Dirk & Nani — Brain injury support group — Harvey — Rehabilitation —  Camping –Work — Mark — Brain injury pride.

Summary: Though he appears normal, Rick Franklin’s brain injury has made his life anything but. Teaming up with veteran documentary maker and friend Lyell Davies, Rick explores the impact that brain injury has had on himself and other survivors and reveals helpful approaches to living with a brain injury.

‘My Two Wheeled Self Propelled Dream Machine’ by Karl Moritz

Check out this new article by BIRRDsong member Karl Mortiz!

And follow this link to see photos of Karl with his new bike:

Hello, I would to share a story about my first complete bike build. My initial idea was to customize a Trek Y-Foil into a Time Trial bike because I really love the frame design and the fact that it was banded by the UCI (Union Cyclist Internationale) for its aerodynamics and Carbon frame design. This frame was only produced for two years. For me, the T/T idea was just because I like the look of a bike that looks like it is moving while standing still and I don’t participate in Time Trials. I was shopping for this bike to buy and customize but then due to a nearly fatal life change when I was involved in a bicycle accident with a car. In short; the car ran over me and dragged underneath for some thirty feet on 6/29/10, spent three months in the hospital and 32 days in my “Unplanned Sabbatical from Life” AKA coma. My bike build plans changed as well. Here is a link to that story in that point in time   That was then and this is now, moving forwards and learning how to build a new complete custom bike because I love cycling and being creative.

I really wanted to have this unique build completed for my fourth year ‘Re-Birth’ as a present to myself, but with all the prepping, details, components searching and planning, time got away from me to finish on that date. And also now that I am on disability so the budget was tight.  In this build I wanted to apply my years in design as an Apparel Tech. Designer and with an artistic approach incorporating high orientated details.  Back in the day prior, my original T/T build idea was just to customize this same type of bike with just paint and graphics and this Single Speed idea would be a total frame up custom build. After doing some research on S/S and the benefits of riding this type of bike (balance, cadence & strength). I decided to change from a T/T Multi speed build to a single speed build because I can now benefit from these attributes.  I also researched if anyone has ever converted a Y-Foil into a Fixie / Track set up. I could only find a few post that said; “Put down your tools and don’t destroy a beautiful design”. So this may upset a few Y-Foil purist, but oh well!

The Frame is a ’98, 58cm pictured as the way that I got it from my immediate family on my actual birthday. Getting started, I removed the front derailleur mounts, bottle cage mounts and all the cable housing mounts (4) from the carbon frame filling in all the rivet holes with a two part epoxy resin. I did this because I wanted the frame to be silky smooth with no visual or aero distractions. So it will now be a single speed frame forever, unless it is taken to have the mounts professionally reinstalled. I went out and asked for advice from a few blog sites on weather I could create a single cog with a double chain-ring. As I wanted more gear options due to my daily commute ride has a 13% grade incline and my former daily cycle trek was around forty miles round trip. I also wanted to use it for local event rides. The answer was ¬no, because of chain tension even with a chain tensioner. It was suggested to use a ‘step back’ two speed rear hub. I never knew this even existed! I wanted to assemble as much as I could on this build myself including building a custom wheel-set. So, I bought a set of 70mm Deep V rims and a new rear hub with 100% ratio on 1st and 138% ration on 2nd gear along with a front Disc 32H hub. I didn’t want to set up this bike to skid for braking, because I am older than most “Hipsters” and wanted this bike to safely stop and go. It was a little difficult to find a front fork with a Disc brake mount for a one inch head tube, but I finally found one on-line made for Cycle Cross. I went with a 160mm Disc Rotor at the front and no rear brake. From my parts bin I used my 170mm carbon crank arm set, carbon seat post and carbon T/T bars.

I went several times plus volunteered at a local Non-Profit bicycle repair shop called Bike Farm ( I went there so that I could learn on how to make bike repairs myself and for this project build. Before starting to lace the rims, I applied a red carbon vinyl laminate film (Wrapped as it’s called in the Auto field) over the rims.  I then had to have the spoke length calculate for each hub. The unique lacing pattern is one that I created myself by using 4 White Double Butted Spoke and 4 Black Bladed spokes X4. The reason I used the 4 white Double Butted Spoke was to make the black bladed spokes visually to be set back. I have never seen this done before. So I’m calling the wheel set lacing pattern “Laced Mag Style”. Lacing the wheel set took a very long time especially for a first timer. And the fact that I was working with two different spokes shapes to coordinate in a pattern series and all doing this on my living room floor before I would true them up at the shop. I actually had to draw out a quick diagram with the hole count of the hub and rim to get it all correct aligned. But it’s all done and I’m very happy with the results, although in hindsight I should have flipped flop the Spoke colors! Bike Farm guided through the process of pressing in new fork headset’s bearings caps, rethreading the Bottom Bracket threads on the frame and using the wheel stand to adjust spoke tension and balancing the wheel-set. I bought a new chain-ring on-line that is an asymmetrical 46 teeth and a 22 teeth rear cog that is a propelled by a black and gold chain. Bike Farm guide me through the process of converting from a threaded fork to am thread-less set up for a disc mount front fork including installing the Bottom Bracket and correct chain line. I was not sure whether the ‘step back’ hub would work well with the asymmetrical chain-ring, but so far no issues and I absolutely love it!

I really wanted the have the frame professionally painted like I had done on some of my other bike projects, so I sent out pictures of the frame to several local bicycle paint shops and auto paint shops to get an estimate on the price. Wow, I was blown away at the proposed cost, I didn’t want to spend more money on the paint than on the cost of the frame itself! Sadly, I could not work in the painting cost into the total build budget that I had set up for this project. So I wet sanded the frame, seat post, crank arms and T/T bars removing all Brand/Model names with 320 & 400 grit sandpaper getting it ready to paint it myself. After having the frame all prepped for paint, my former neighbor Taji, helped me and took the sanded and all prepped frame to a painter contact that would apply paint and graphics. The Graphic of the Flaming Flying Eagle I designed myself using Adobe Illustrator and took the file to a local Vinyl Sign Shop to have it cut out at in a gold color vinyl laminate. I used a clear gloss shaker paint on the crank arms, seat post, and T/T bars because I wanted the carbon weave texture to be exposed on these components. For the longest time I have been a fan of the 50’s hot rod, so that’s where the color scheme comes from red, gold, black, and white plus I wanted the finished project to look Neo-Vintage.

All in all, this bike was 100% hand built by myself with only the frame paint being out sourced.  After having the bike all completed, I went for a spin one day and rode past by a UPS shop and thought to myself, ‘Let’s see how much this puppy weighs’? Hmm…a total weight of 14.3 Lbs. Not so shabby for my first build but I was a little surprised on the weight and thought it would be a wee bit less! It is was it is!

My final comment: Thank you for taking time to read this and knowledge of my new journey. I have now completed my personal full circle of completing this bike build and all the changes along the way; Live and Learn.  I would like to end my story with a song that comes into mind from the band ‘Queen’, “Bicycle bicycle bicycle, I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike, I want to ride my bicycle’ I want to ride it where I like. So get on your bikes and ride”!
My three boys (Cubs) are doing fantastic and now they want a custom bike built, more fun to create more bike projects.
Icebreaker, Thank you for the employment Opportunity!

Cheers> Karl, AKA “Kaj’omo”
Ride Wise=Wear a helmet!

Think Out Loud on OPB about concussions: David Kracke and Dr. Jim Chesnutt join experts

The OPB program called Think Out Loud featured a conversation today on concussion policy and science. The discussion looked at Max’s Law and Jenna’s Law, both co-authored by lawyer David Kracke and Dr. Chesnutt who is Director of the Concussion Program at Oregon Health & Science University. They also discussed the recent NCAA settlement where former athletes sued the association regarding how poorly the players’ concussions were managed over the years. Experts also talked about walking and balance and how some new tests are being researched that might help coaches and trainers protect players from returning to play too soon.

The two experts were joined by Li-Shan Chou, a Biomechanics Professor at the University of Oregon and Doug Aukerman, a Senior Associate Athletic Director at Oregon State University.

Please click on the following link to read a short article containing links to people and more information.

No matter what people thought or said about concussions in the past, new research and science are showing us that a concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. While getting one concussion might or might not leave lasting difficulties, the experts talked about ways that getting repeated concussions might lead to troubles later in life.

If you get a concussion, even if it feels mild, Dr. Chesnutt talked on the podcast about resting and staying away from TV, video games, computers, school, work, and rigorous exercise at least for a few days. Don’t rush back to activity, especially if you still don’t feel well! And see a doctor right away to make sure that you’re on the right track to healing.

Tyler Presnell on AM Northwest

From the AM Northwest website:

“Story Published: Mar 24, 2014 at 10:32 AM PDT

At 14, Tyler Presnell, his twin brother and his younger sister were in a violent car wreck, passengers in a car driven by a close family friend. That friend was 16 and had been licensed less than a week. The crash nearly killed Tyler, but it did not kill his spirit. Having gone through multiple surgeries, stints in intensive care, constant pain and months in a wheel-chair, Tyler knew that he had an important message to share. His speaking career started over ten years ago while he was still a patient in the intensive care unit at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Tyler speaks of his family, his lifelong recovery and the subsequent pain, and the challenge of living each day with over 80 percent of his short-term memory gone.

To find out more about Tyler or to have him speak at your school or organization click here.”

By the way, TBI survivor Tyler Presnell lives in the Pacific Northwest and is an accomplished poet. See him perform many of his original pieces on his YouTube Channel here. He’s also been doing outstanding public speaking for many years. You can contact him through his website to have him come speak to your group:

“Who Am I To Stop It” documentary film on Pacific Northwest artists with brain injury

Just in time for Brain Injury Awareness Month (or People With Brain Injury Appreciation Month), we have some scenes to show you from a local documentary film currently in production. The film is being made by BIRRDsong member Cheryl Green and features artists who have each had a TBI.

You can read about the film at

Watch the scenes here:

News of interest!

British Lawmakers Intensify Focus on Head Injuries


Spurred by the momentum the issue has gained in the United States, Parliament is examining a tightening of the rules governing the response to sports-related concussions.

Or, copy and paste this URL into your browser:


Injured ‘Spider-Man’ Dancer Discusses His Lawsuit


A cast member of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” whose foot and leg were partly crushed during a performance, discusses his lawsuit in his first interview since the accident.

Or, copy and paste this URL into your browser:


Brain Trauma Extends to the Soccer Field


Researchers found C.T.E., a disease linked to football and boxing, in a soccer player who loved to head the ball, although they said the cause was inconclusive.

Or, copy and paste this URL into your browser:

New call-in radio show on Brain Injury Radio Network with BIRRDy Cheryl Green

I’m excited to announce that the Brain Injury Radio Network (BIRN) has signed me on to run a once-monthly call-in streaming radio show!

The Art of Brain Injury Radio Show Banner shows a photo of a woman with brown hair and a purple shirt, smiling at the camera. There is a sketched brain in the shape of a heart and Brain Injury Radio Network logos. Show details are written in multiple bright colors and a bubbly 1970s font.

[Image description: The Art of Brain Injury Radio Show Banner shows a photo of a woman with brown hair and a purple shirt, smiling at the camera. There is a sketched brain in the shape of a heart, and Brain Injury Radio Network logos. Show details are written in multiple bright colors and a bubbly 1970s font.]

Banner details:

Brain Injury Radio: Take your voice back. The silent & voiceless epidemic. The Art of Brain Injury hosted by Cheryl Green. 1st Tuesday of each month. 5:00 pm Pacific Time. -855-473-3711

This new streaming radio show will be focused on art. Whether it’s your personal expression, therapy, political statements, or pure fun, what does art bring to your life? What are you working on? What are your dreams? How can you–as the whole, complete person you are–reach for those dreams? What obstacles can we work together to break down? If someone says you’re voiceless, how can you use art to let them know you are not voiceless? You may have been silenced, but you have a voice.

This show is focused on peers. Anyone at all can and should listen. But the focus is on those of us who have been stuck in the role of patient or stuck in the role of dependent on others or stuck left to fend for ourselves. The arts can be an incredible tool to showing people that we are who we are, and we are wonderful. We are not broken and in need of being fixed by an outside expert. (Of course, if you want rehab, you should get it! I did! But it’s to improve some skills, not to fix a broken-down, less-than person.)

Think about how you can–and do–reach into your community and reach out to other communities. Paint, draw, film, photograph, sing, tell a story. Tell us about the art of living with your brain injury. Tell us about the art you make.

My debut show:–with-cheryl-green

We’re 5:00 — 6:45 pm the 1st Tuesday of the month. Follow the link above to listen online and dial 424-243-9540 to talk, ask questions, and share.