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My Experience at the 32nd BIAK Annual Meeting (PART 2)

August 16, 2018

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After the reception, everyone was politely ushered into a large presentation room, where this year’s speakers would be giving their speeches, and awards would be given out to their respective recipients. Before the awards ceremony started, there were some agenda items that needed to be discussed and passed. Both items on the agenda were passed through, including the annual financial report. Again, I was blown away by how put together this organization was, and how much support was really behind their operations and endeavors.

As the awards were being given out, I couldn’t help but to sense an aura of solidarity amongst those present. It seemed as if almost everyone in the room had been affected by brain injury, and that truly explained why they had so much support for BIAK. Every award recipient would give a short speech, and I can honestly say that I was moved after each and every one of them. They amount of positivity that people were able to extract out of living with their disabilities was truly inspiring. It really made all of my problems and worries seem so minuscule, and made me much more appreciative for what I do have, in terms of my health.

One of the most inspiring stories came from one of the representatives, Brandon Reed. Brandon had suffered a brain injury several years prior, after having an accident at work. I’m not the most outwardly emotional person, but I can honestly say that I could feel tears welling up beneath the surface of my eye lids. Brandon went on to talk about how he has learned to see the blessings that have come with his injury, and all of the positive things that it had brought into his life. His words and story really put a lot of things into perspective, and it honestly made me want to start living my life to the fullest. As I get older, I find myself drawing strength and inspiration from the willpower of others. I get a lot of energy from that, and people like Brandon really serve as a source of motivation in my day-to-day life.

Aside from Brandon, there were also a few other great speakers that were in attendance. The new Commissioner, Benjamin Adam, made a great speech on what he is doing to help the cause throughout the state. Jill Hunter, the Commissioner for the Department for Medicaid Services, was also there to speak on what all is currently going on in Frankfort. It was really interesting to hear her explain the process of what goes into having waivers put into motion, and how much work actually goes into having laws passed that will benefit Medicaid recipients. Although she explained that Federal guidelines must be followed, there is a ‘person-centered’ approach which is taken into consideration whenever laws, waivers and guidelines are put into motion, or are being considered.

Overall, attending the 32nd BIAK Annual Meeting was an absolute pleasure, and I am looking forward to being in attendance for the 33rd. The Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky is a great organization that looks out for thousands of people across the state, and I’m glad I was able to meet a few of its members. Although I only spent a matter of a few hours in the presence of those who are affected by brain injury, I can honestly say that I will be a supporter of this organization from this point on. BIAK is able to operate their services through the means of donations, so any form of help goes a really long way. If this is an organization that you would like to support, please visit thier website at www.biak.us, and see what they are all about!

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