Acquired Brain Injury Network Of Pennsylvania, Inc.

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April 20, 2018

Dear ABIN-Pa friends and family;

It is with heavy heart that I write this, the last ‘letter from the President’ on the last distribution of the ABIN-PA newsletter. As of this date ABIN-PA will not function as a separate organization. Some of our work and focus will be merged into BIAPA where we hope to continue the legacy of Barb Dively to provide support, information, guidance and community to individuals with brain injuries and their families.

Barb brought the Acquired Brain Injury Network to life in June 2007.  At that time so little was understood about brain injury; Barb was a pioneer quietly leading the way; even in the medical community so much about brain injury was unrecognized. Over time ABIN grew to be a vital force with over 1500 subscribers to their newsletter, a hotline to provide support,  over 25 different leaflets distributed at events all over the region, training programs and even written guidebooks to inform those whose lives had been affected by brain injuries. Alongside of this Barb was also a powerful presence in Harrisburg and across the state in policy making, legislation, and service development. Always Barb – and ABIN – sought to educate, to help find answers and solutions, and to offer a vision of healing and hope – and to give, so very generously, of her heart and hard work. Barb’s compassion was boundless but focused – the number of lives she touched and helped (including my own) is endless. Smart, warm, loving, strong and fierce; Barb was an inspiration to all who met her.

A few days ago we closed down ABIN’s office space.  While the task itself was mostly a matter of boxing papers and putting away equipment and miscellaneous items it represented a great deal more. With ABIN Barb had built something that few people do - she had brought to life a vision, a service that became a real and effective force in addressing brain injury issues in the state of Pennsylvania. As I shuffled through the papers (all incredibly organized and labeled !) I would find little things here or there - a short note that someone had sent, an inspirational quote, a letter to a legislator - and each time I would smile as I could imagine Barb, a slight figure behind her big glasses, gently and stubbornly and resolutely (and I assure you she was quite the force) advocating for justice and human rights for those who live with brain injuries. She never quit, she never gave up.

I have given a good decade to ABIN - first as a lurker at their meetings, then a board member, the board Vice President and in the last year as board President when Barb became too ill to keep going in that role. It was a privilege to do so but I know that I never filled Barb’s shoes. It’s been an honor to be part of ABIN and even more to serve as President. I have to thank the many volunteers throughout the years and especially the members of the board for their support, and in particular, those folks who shared  the last day at  the office; Joan Steinberg, Marita Mugler and Barry Childress. I also have to say a special thanks to the Dively family for letting all of us share in their mother/their wife and draw so deeply from her heart, mind and spirit.

The work of ABIN won't ever really vanquish - Barb touched many lives, helped change law and policy in Pennsylvania and was elemental in raising awareness of brain injury long before it was a commonly understood issue. There are big and famous heroes in this world but too often we fail to recognize those whose names don't make it into the history books but who most certainly have shaped the world and made a difference. Barb Dively was one, and she did it with ABIN-PA, a brilliant mind, an enormous heart and an indomitable spirit.

You live on Barb in the good works you have done. Thank you.

Per ardua ad astra.

Madelaine Sayko











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MISSION
ABIN-PA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization of brain injury survivors and family members dedicated to increasing public awareness about acquired brain injury and to providing support, education, information, advocacy and other services for individuals with acquired brain injury and their families.



 


ARE YOU NEW TO BRAIN INJURY?
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BASIC INFORMATION ON BRAIN INJURY - ALSO SEE 'LIBRARY'

Your Brain Injury Notebook

Click on the title above to download ABIN-PA's 62 page booklet combining the materials from all brochures with additional information.

Building A New Life After Brain Injury: A Peer to Peer Training Manual

Click on the title above to download ABIN-PA's 20+ page Peer to Peer Training Manual. Great for starting discussions. Let us know if you have questions or want a short training in using the manual with groups. You are welcome to print and distribute.

CSS Interview of ABIN-PA and Brain Injury

Click on the title above to view Eric Forsythe interviewing Barb Dively and Dorene Pasekoff on the Community Service Spotlight for public television.

"Brain Injury and the Challenges of Life Ever After"

Click on the title above to view this DVD. Many of us are in it! The PA Department of Public Welfare provided funding for this DVD. It was developed under grants CFDA 93.779 and 11-P-92120/3-01 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Health of Human Services, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal government.

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CHARITABLE SOLICITATION REGISTRATION

The official registration and financial information of the Acquired Brain Injury
Network of Pennsylvania, Inc., may be obtained from the Pennsylvania
Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) 732-0999.
Registration does not imply endorsement.


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