The People We Serve are “All of Us”
Brain injury is an equal opportunity disability. It can happen to anyone – young or old, white collar or blue, male or female. The people Schurig Center serves are professionals, parents, daughters, sons, friends, and neighbors… our community.
Although the circumstances of their injuries may differ, they all share a common experience. They have each survived an injury that has dramatically changed their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
There is life after brain injury! Almost all survivors remember what they were doing and the hopes and dreams they had before their injuries. They must grieve the loss of their former lives and learn to re-engage in life in new ways.
We help survivors and their families accept that their life has changed and to rethink their dreams.
We are pleased to share the following stories of just a few survivors who have passed through our doors while on their journey to recovery. These individuals and their families have been able to access our life-changing services thanks to the support of community members, like you. Thank you!
“Schurig Center helped me improve my abilities and explore the possibilities in front of me, as I am now.”
Anna suffered several brain injuries in her life, from mild concussions to most recently, a stroke. But her history of brain injuries is not the most important part of her story – it’s her journey to recovery.
As Anna has recovered with the support of Schurig Center and her family, she transitioned from being a client to volunteering at our center as a teaching assistant. Today, she leads art classes on her own and is looking forward to returning to work one day.
“Schurig Center kept me alive and kept me going. It made me functional. If I weren’t coming here, I’d be less confident, and my abilities would be worse.”
Scott, a veteran and former police officer, has been able rebuild his abilities and re-engage in life with new meaning after multiple brain injuries with the help of Schurig Center’s services.
At age 8, Scott suffered his first brain injury when the car he was riding in was struck by a drunk driver. Scott sustained additional brain injuries throughout his life, first while serving his community as a police officer and in the Army and later while working in the movie industry.
Today, Scott is thriving! With the support of the services and community at Schurig Center, Scott has moved out of isolation into an increased sense of confidence, self-acceptance, and belonging.
Jeff & Mary Ellen
“Life has gotten 300% better since we found Schurig Center.”
Jeff and Mary Ellen’s lives have been greatly improved by accessing Schurig Center’s services. While on a weekend hike by himself, Jeff suffered a stroke that left him unable to walk, talk, read, or write. He is walking again, but remains without speech and copes with cognitive challenges.
Jeff continues to strive each day to improve his abilities and has discovered a new skill that he excels at…drawing! Jeff can be found frequently in our Therapeutic Art Studio creating highly realistic pencil drawings of animals.
Giselle & Giselle Elizabeth
“Schurig Center was the only place in the Bay Area that could tailor programs and services to fit my mom’s skill level.”
At age 56, Giselle was enjoying the life she had worked so hard to create. She had been a nurse at San Francisco General Hospital for 30 years and had no plans to retire. Then, in 2011, Giselle’s plans were interrupted when she experienced a stroke.
“It seemed as if the rug had been pulled out from under us,” reflected Giselle Elizabeth, Giselle’s daughter.
In her quest for help, Giselle Elizabeth found Schurig Center. Here her mother participates in several programs and Giselle Elizabeth attends supportive and educational services to address the many concerns faced by caregivers.
DID YOU KNOW? A stroke happens every 40 seconds in the U.S. and is the leading cause of long-term disability.
At age 44, Pam was working full-time and raising her son as a single mother. One day, she found herself feeling anxious, confused, and disoriented.
Pam was experiencing the side effects of a brain injury caused by a virus. Even a mild viral infection can lead to a more serious brain injury, such as a stroke, and can cause severe brain damage.
After being discharged from the hospital, Pam continued to suffer from impairments caused by the brain injury. No longer able to live on her own, Pam moved to live with her mother. Pam and Barbara’s lives were changed forever.
At Schurig Center, not only have both their lives greatly improved, but Pam’s abilities have as well. Pam participates in yoga, occupational therapy, life skills classes, art therapy, and support groups. Barbara receives support, education, and respite that help her to cope with the challenges of caregiving.
At age 30, Stephanie is relearning much of what came naturally before she contracted viral encephalitis and spent three months in a coma. Her smile is infectious and her determination is inspirational, as she takes two buses each day to get from her family’s home in Santa Rosa to Schurig Center.
“It’s great to be with people who understand what I’m going through,” says Stephanie about the staff and fellow survivors she works with each day. “It’s comforting to spend time with people who have also lost a lot.”
Prior to her illness, Stephanie has graduated from college and was a successful sales representative living on her own. Now she lives with her father, stepmother, brother, and sister. A constant threat of seizures makes it unsafe for Stephanie to live alone.
“All of my old friends are getting married, having children, and buying homes. While it’s hard to be starting over again at my age, I’m grateful to be learning new skills and forming great friendships. I’m a pretty happy person and lucky to have so much support.”
After his motorcycle accident, Peter remained unconscious and hospitalized for two-and-a-half months. Though Peter struggles with short-term memory loss, he’s discovering a range of new interests and skills at Schurig Center.
“I love being here because so many doors are open to me. I’m writing poetry, learning to garden, and relearning everyday life skills such as cooking. In addition, I’ve met some wonderful people.”
“We have discussions about what’s hard for us, like knowing when to tell people that we’ve had a brain injury. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words, and sometimes it’s hard to know when to explain what I’ve been through.”
Bay Area brain injury survivors and their families
need our services. We need you!
We are all in this community together and we need one another.
Help us strengthen and grow our life-changing services.
Here’s how your support helps…
- We must fundraise over 85% of our annual budget.
- Over 70% of the people we serve live on a low income.
- Donations enable us to provide services on a sliding scale or free of charge. We turn no one away regardless of ability to pay!