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This writer has been fortunate enough to have served on the board of directors for a local (Charlottesville, Virginia) organization serving brain injured victims for almost two years. "Building a Bridge" supports people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) by providing housing and caring resources. The TBI victim lives in a home environment with two or three other victims and a resident staff person who provides care and assistance. The goal is to provide an environment that resembles a home, rather than an institution.

Many people who have brain injuries can no longer live alone due to their injuries; they need to be in a strong, supportive environment that helps them function as fully as possible. Sometimes the brain injury victim’s family is unable to care for their family member. The "Bridge", while located in Charlottesville, serves victims from different parts of the state and country.

Building a Bridge has been in existence since 1991. Begun by Heinz Kramp, its purpose is to help provide independence for adult survivors of traumatic brain injury; the Bridge provides long-term residential living for its clients. Heinz has spent his life helping people with disabilities.

An accident that happens in a second can change one’s entire life forever. One may need to learn how to walk and talk again, and how to perform simple tasks. A traumatic brain injury can affect every aspect of a person’s life, including one’s personality. TBI can cause a host of physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects, and outcomes can range from complete recovery to permanent disability or death. Building a Bridge provides the support system that is critical to the improvement and sustainability of the clients.

Serving on the board has been a rewarding experience for me. I’ve met incredibly hard-working, dedicated people who really strive to improve the lives of those with brain injuries. I feel privileged to work with the staff and clients of Building a Bridge. I know that the Bridge has an amazing, positive impact on its clients. For more information on this very worthwhile organization, please visit:

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