Disability Matters Rally at State Capitol Shines Light on Traumatic Brain Injury

February 28, 2017 07:39 PM

A Disability Matters rally at the state Capitol Tuesday aimed to shine a light on traumatic brain injuries on the eve of brain injury awareness month. 

The rally was about education, awareness and giving a voice to survivors, and featured an art exhibit called Unmasking Brain Injury in Minnesota. 

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As part of the exhibit, the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance and those living with brain injuries are using colorful masks to illustrate how their brain injury affects them. The 80 or so masks hanging in the north corridor at the state Capitol have different themes, colors and visuals.

Amy Zellmer is living with a traumatic brain injury and says giving a face to what she's been through is therapeutic. She designed her own mask. 

"I might be slower, my memory might not work, I might have a lot of fatigue and not do all the things I used to do, but I'm still me and that's what my brain injury mask represents," Zellmer said. 

Brittany Lasek is a volunteer specialist with the MBIA. "It's to raise that awareness so they can understand that every individual is different, every brain injury is different and it impacts people in different ways," she said. 

According to the alliance, nearly two million people in the U.S. sustain traumatic brain injuries every year, yet brain injuries aren't well-understood by the general public.

The masks will remain on display at the Capitol through noon Friday, March 3. 


Lindsey Brown

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