By Ambassador Elaine Severson
It’s not uncommon for those in the sports world to get the official diagnosis from the doctor. “You have suffered a concussion.” Immediately, thoughts of missing days doing what we love flare up. The first question we ask is typically “when will I be cleared.” The doctor might reply with a concrete time frame. “Two weeks.” Or they might say “I’m not sure. We’ll have to reevaluate you.”
I sustained my first concussion when I was 17 years old while playing soccer. I got my second diagnosed one when I was 19 after hitting my head on a doorframe. I know I had one when I was 18, but I refused to miss my final soccer game of my high school career because of “a hit to the head.” It wasn’t until I was 20 that I understood how severe these invisible injuries truly are.
I will never forget the day my mom told me my brother suffered his traumatic brain injury (the brain injury community is pushing for the term “traumatic brain injury” instead of concussion to make people understand the severity). His was severe enough that it took him over a year to return to “normal.” His perfect vision was gone, his memory was spotty, his moods would swing in either direction on a dime, and he was discouraged. His entire life was turned upside-down at 17, just like mine could have been.
I became an ambassador to surround myself by incredible women that inspire me. I never imagined being an ambassador would allow me the opportunity to influence the sports community. For the month of March, I have asked the other ambassadors to post photos of them wearing their helmets to remind people helmets are awesome. Helmets are one of the many ways you can help protect yourself. To join the conversation, check out #SheShredsHelmets on social media and share your own photos.
For all sports, consider a helmet that uses the MIPS system for extra brain protection like the helmets below - click the image to find out more!
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