Brain Injury Awareness Day | Washington DC | March 20, 2018

In DC with Carrie, Executive Director of the Arizona Brain Injury Alliance

The Brain Injury Association of America has announced Brain Injury Awareness Day as Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at our Nation’s Capitol in Washington DC.

This event is hosted by: Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D NJ) and Congressman Thomas J. Rooney (R FL), co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force.

It is FREE to attend, everyone is welcome, and no registration is required.

Although BIAA and brain injury advocates work with Congress thoughout the year, Brain Injury Awareness Day is important because it is the one day dedicated to educating your elected officials about brain injury and how vital federal funding is to continue the Federal TBI State Grant Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention TBI Programs, and brain injury research conducted by the TBI Model Systems.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) will be hosting a TBI stakeholder meeting on Monday, March 19. Please note you do have to RSVP for this meeting. ACL will also be hosting a brown bag lunch meeting on Tuesday, March 20 on Capitol Hill.

10am-2pm Brain Injury Awareness Fair
Rayburn Foyer, First floor, Rayburn House Office building.
Brain Injury Briefing
Longworth House Office Building Room 1539
Reception celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month
Rayburn House Office building Room 2045

The very first Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill was held in 2002, and is is hosted by the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force co-chaired by Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.). It is put on in partnership with the Brain Injury Association of America. I will be meeting with my Senators while I am in DC and asking them to join the Task Force!

How YOU can help — even if you’re not able to attend in-person in Washington DC:

1. Find your local Senator and Representatives:
– To find your Senator you can visit and click on your state
To find your Representative you visit and enter your zip code in the upper right hand corner
2. Send them a letter requesting they join the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. Use this letter as a template (change out the RED highlighted areas). CLICK HERE FOR PDF
3. Include this form for them to join the Task Force. CLICK HERE FOR PDF.
4. Schedule a meeting with them while you’re in DC (if you’re attending).

Please contact Amy Colberg, Director of Government Affairs, at if you would like assistance with scheduling meetings with your elected officials during Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill.

This year will be my fourth time attending BIA Day, and I wanted to offer my fellow survivors who are planning to attend some tips on planning out your day!

Map Your Route
Whether you’re arriving by Metro, Taxi, or car, it is important to do your research and know where you’re going. Make note of which building you need to be at, and program the addresses into your GPS using the “walk” option, or print out maps and highlight your path. NOTE: You will need to go through security screening to enter any of the buildings at the Capitol. You can not bring in food or beverages, and your bags will be scanned and/or checked by hand. Please be prepared, and feel free to tell security you have a brain injury and may need some assistance from them.

Plan Your Schedule In Advance
Understand how much energy you’re willing to exert and plan accordingly. If you can only give yourself and hour or so, I highly suggest you put your energy towards the Awareness Fair. You will be able to meet with vendors who support brain injury awareness, you’ll meet fellow survivors, interact with the Brain Injury Association of America, and pick up some free swag to take home with you! The Congressional Briefing can get a bit long, and can be over stimulating to listen to, however, you will learn a lot and get updates on what is happening across the country with brain injury awareness, detection, and prevention. The Reception is a fun time to hang out with the new people you have just met, as well as eat some tasty treats.

Wear Comfortable Shoes
It’s important to understand that there is a lot of walking involved when you’re at the Capitol. You will walk from your car, Taxi, or Metro stop to the building, and also between the buildings. Distance is deceiving when you look at a map, so it’s good to be prepared for a lot of walking!

Stay Hydrated & Eat A Snack
Eat a healthy breakfast before heading out. Hydration is critical to brain health, so bring a water bottle and fill it up once you’re through security. There is also a cafeteria located inside the building where you can purchase beverages as well as a meal or snacks.

Bring A Notebook & Pen & Tote Bag
You will likely meet a lot of wonderful new people, and you’ll want to grab their business card and/or make notes. You will be taking in a lot of new information, and I suggest writing things down so you don’t forget, and make notations of things you want to follow up on. A tote bag will come in handy to carry around the free swag that you pick up (pens, etc).

Pace Yourself & Be Prepared For Overstimulation
Get LOTS of rest the night before. This is going to be a busy day with lots of people, walking, and interaction. Bring with you any comfort items you may need such as sunglasses and earplugs. Take breaks and pace yourself, you’re under no obligation to see it all and do everything on the schedule!


Here is a recap of the first BIA Day I attended in March, 2015 on Huffington Post: CLICK HERE


An Online Brain Health Summit for Those Affected by Brain Injury

An invitation to attend a FREE online event with over 20 renowned specialists in the brain injury community.

Dr. Jeremy Schmoe from Minnesota Functional Neurology and I saw a growing need in the brain injury community for more awareness and education about alternative healthcare methods and modalities for those who are still suffering from the lingering effect of brain injury.

During the month of March, in conjunction with Brain Injury Awareness Month, the summit will provide brain injury survivors with more than 20 of the most renowned specialists in the brain injury community, including doctors, caregivers, survivors, and other clinicians who are experienced in successfully treating brain injury.

The lineup includes: Dr. Jeremy Schmoe, Dr. Ryan Cedermark, Dr. Dan Engle, Dr. Michael Lewis, Mark Parrish, Sue Wilson, April Christopherson, Dr. David Traster, Drs. Erin & Elizabeth Anderson, Dr. Alina Fong, Dr. Deborah Zelinsky, Bridgett Wallace, Dr. Mario Dulay, Meg & Conner, Dr. Anne Kelly, and Dr. Ron Tarrel.

Topics include: – The Brain-Gut Axis – Rehabilitation – Patient Advocacy – Pro Athlete Advocacy – The Eye-Brain Connection – Vestibular Rehabilitation – Understanding Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD -Chiropractic Functional Neurology – Neuro Perception – CBD Oil for Recovery – Cognitive Rehabilitation – A Mother’s Perspective Of Her Elite Snowboarder Son’s Accident and Recovery – Cervical Spine and Headache Pain – Living Chronic Pain – A mother-son Journey – Apathy After Injury – Stress and Neuroplasticity – and much more

The 2018 Brain Health Online Summit is ideal for: Brain Injury Survivors, Caregivers, Loved Ones, Co-Workers, Healthcare Providers, Clinicians, and anyone interested in their overall Brain Health Function.

And best of all — it is completely FREE!

If you’re not able to attend all of the dates, no worries! Recordings will be available for purchase with a portion of all proceeds benefiting the Brain Injury Association of America.

For further information and to register:

WCCO Radio Interview | Dr. Uzma Samadani | Super Bowl 2018 | Minneapolis










This weekend I had the pleasure of being a guest on Roshini Rajkumar’s “News and Views” on WCCO radio, along with Neurosurgeon and brain injury researcher, Dr. Uzma Samadani.

We talked about Super Bowl 2018 here in Minneapolis, MN, CTE, football, my recovery, Samadani’s work, and so much more!

Check out my HuffPost article highlighting all of the events and innovators in the Twin Cities that will be featured this week in preparation for the big game!

Listen below and leave us some comment love!

My Newest Book is on Kickstarter

I am thrilled to announce that my newest book is almost ready for birth!

It is currently on Kickstarter to crowdsource the funding for production costs. It will be released in March … and I am planning a Washington DC book launch party — so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I would greatly appreciate your support: please consider backing the project by pre-ordering your copy NOW! If you don’t have my first book, you can grab the “book bundle” and get both books!!

“Embracing the Journey” is a sequel to my original book “Life With a Traumatic Brain Injury” and I couldn’t be more proud of the advocacy work I am doing to raise awareness and help educate those who don’t understand this invisible injury that affects over 2.8 million Americans each year!!

Kickstarter link:

Amy’s Custom Blends | Body Mist & Roll-On

The power of essential oils combined with the energy of crystals!! These little beauties are MAGICAL!


All purchases not only help YOU they also help ME continue with my advocacy work — and I thank you <3

Available as a body mist or roll-on … these little beauties will help give you added support for daily or supplemental use!!.

How do I use them??
Body Mist: squeeze a couple sprays onto your body and lightly rub in.
Roll-On: Roll onto your pulse points, temples, or bottoms of your feet and rub in.
Both ways offer you aromatic benefits as well as topical!

What do they cost?
2oz Body Mist $15
10ml Roll-On $12
plus shipping/handling of $2.50 each item
(sorry, only available for US shipping)

(the roll-on is made with sweet almond oil as the carrier, so please advise if you have a nut allergy and I will substitute with grapeseed oil)



Amy’s Brain Blend is a combination of Frankincense, Cedarwood, Lavender, and Northern Lights Black Spruce essential oils, along with a bead of Crystal Quartz to amplify the energy!

choose your option


Lavender is a powerful oil for calm and sleep. Use as a pillow mist before bed, or roll onto your wrists and bottoms of your feet. Includes a piece of Amethyst for enhanced support — which is full of energy for sleep!!

choose your option


Peppermint is great for added energy throughout the day, as well as for minor aches and tension. Rub into your temples (careful of the eyes) or directly where you feel tension. Mist makes a great on-the-go boost; and also works as a coolant if you overheat easily!  Includes a piece of Crystal Quartz to help amplify your energy!

choose your option


This blend includes lemon and orange to help with mood. Orange is shown to help take us back to fond memories, while lemon is a natural energy and mood booster. Includes a piece of Rose Quartz to help increase happiness!

choose your option


This blend of oregano, cinnamon, and lemon is a powerful, natural blend to help fight off germs and keep you healthy year-round. Spray on your body and rub in throughout the day, or roll onto your chest or bottoms of your feet!! Includes a piece of Amethyst for additional immune support!J

choose your option

The Complete Collection!!!

Can’t decide which blend you want?? Get the complete collection, you won’t regret it 🙂
1 spray — Sleep Support
1 roll-on — Brain Blend
1 roll-on — Immune Support
1 roll-on — Mood Support
1 roll-on — Energizing Blend
PLUS receive a Crystal Quartz point — carry it in your pocket, sleep with it under your pillow, or use in any way that you need extra energy or amplified support!
$60 plus $5 shipping/handling

TBI Author Talk

With the holiday season upon us, I thought it would be a great time to highlight some of my fellow TBI authors!

Each week I will host a Facebook Live video chat with an author. We will discuss their book, their journey, and what they’re up to next!

All you need to do is “like” my Facebook page so that the videos will pop up in your newsfeed!! All videos will be recorded and available on my page afterwards as well, however, if you can make the LIVE video you will have the opportunity to ask Q’s of the author and myself! 

All times are CST (+ 1 hour for EST and  -2 hours for PST)
Click on book titles to see more about the book.

Mon. Nov. 20th 10:30am 
Cavin Balaster — “How To Feed A Brain”

Tues. Nov. 21 6:30pm 
Cyndy Feasel — “After the Cheering Stops” 



Mon. Nov. 27th 10:30am
Carole Starr — “To Root and to Rise”


Mon. Dec. 4th 10:30am
Dr. Michael Lewis — “When Brains Collide”  





Tues. Dec. 12th 10:00am
Amanda Smart — “Grit”

 Mon. Dec. 18th TBD
Nick Dennen — “23: Time to Choose”

Radio Interview on 107.7 WTPL The Pulse | National Concussion Awareness Day | Half Hour to Health

Concussion Awareness Day proclamation from Governor, Mark Dayton in Minnesota

Friday, September 15th was National Concussion Awareness Day  and I am proud to say that I received a proclamation from Minnesota Governor, Mark Dayton declaring it so!

I had so many great festivities going on for NCAD, and I left for my trip to Baltimore the day afterwards so I am just now getting around to sharing them with you!

First of all, I had Dr. Stephanie Mills and her daughter, Brooke Mills on my podcast series. Brooke is an 18 year old in NH who struggled through high school with a concussion. Last year she had the 3rdFriday of September declared National Concussion Awareness Day!!

You can listen to the episode: National Concussion Awareness Day Sept. 15th with Dr. Stephanie & Brooke Mills

Amy and Jeremy with the guys from Clear Edge

Additionally, Dr. Jeremy Schmoe and I held an Open House at his clinic: Minnesota Functional Neurology DC. He has helped me so much in my recovery over this past year, my hope is that everyone can find a doctor like him to snuff out their lingering TBI/concussion symptoms.

The amazing guys from Clear Edge were in town from Syracuse, NY and helped Jeremy and his staff do baseline testing in conjunction with NCAD as well! I wish I had had a baseline when I had my accident and I am passionate about this company and what they stand for in the world of concussion. More on that coming soon in a Huff Post article 🙂

Last but certainly not least, I was interviewed by Dr. Stephanie on her radio show “Half Hour to Health” on 107.7 WTPL The Pulse. She had me on to talk about my concussion journey as she extended NCAD through the weekend in NH! You can listen to the full episode below!

How did YOU celebrate National Concussion Awareness Day?!?

A Recap of My Trip to Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland

With Andy Wayne, Director of Marketing at Communications at MWPH

This past week I was on the road to Baltimore, MD where I had the pleasure of meeting with the amazing folks at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (MWPH). 

They brought me out so that I could write a feature story on their amazing “Adventures Abilities” program, which allows some of their youth brain injury patients to attend a 10 day camp in Park City, UT.

I had the pleasure of interviewing six of their staff members:
– Dr. Richard M Katz, Chief Medical Officer
– Christy Sands, Senior Physical Therapist
– Dr. Joseph E Cleary, Pediatric Neuropsychologist
– Susan K Dubroff, Director for Rehabilitation Services
– Lindie A McDonough, Abilities Adventures

Interviewing Lindie McDonough, Director of Abilities Adventures and School Liason

And learning more about the hospital and their different programs:

Christy showing me their NeuroCom balance testing machine they use on all concussion/brain injury patients

I was beyond impressed with this hospital, which is a step-down hospital (meaning they have already been hospitalized and are now coming there to prepare for going back home). The entire staff is so incredibly kind and caring, and they have an amazingly high retention rate. They truly care about their patients and want to see them succeed in life. Once a child leaves the hospital, they continue to keep in touch with them!

The Abilities Adventures program is currently open to individuals who have been part of their brain injury rehabilitation program. All of the  staff I spoke with have had interaction with these kids at one point or another during the course of their stay, and as I mentioned before, they truly care about them.

Everyone was incredibly knowledgeable about concussions and brain injury, and I wouldn’t hesitate to send someone I know to this hospital.  If you’re familiar with my story and the amount of doctors I encountered who did nothing to help me, I am quite the critic when it comes to hospitals and clinics — and I give these guys an A+!

With Alicia Cignatta, Outreach Director for the BIA MD

Before I headed back home, I had a quick opportunity to meet the staff at the Maryland Brain Injury Association! Thanks to Alicia Cignatta, Outreach Coordinator, for reaching out to me on Twitter to connect!

I also had the pleasure of meeting Caitlin Exline Starr, Manager of Support Services, and Bryan Thomas Pugh, Executive Director.  They all took time out of their morning to come in early to meet with me as it fit into my busy schedule! I had a wonderful time chatting with them, and hearing about what they’re doing in MD!

WCCO Radio Interview | Minnesota State Fair | Concussions & CTE | Amy Zellmer & Dr. Jeremy Schmoe

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sharing my concussion/TBI journey on WCCO Radio on “News and Views with Roshini Rajkumar” … and to make this episode even more special … we filmed live at the Minnesota State Fair WCCO News Radio booth!!

I have known Roshini for several years since photographing her for her Savvy MN Magazine cover shoot and she has been a great friend and resource to me since — she also introduced me to my amazing women’s writing group!

Roshini asked Dr. Jeremy and I to come on her show this week to talk about National Concussion Awareness Day coming up on September 15th, as well as the latest report on NFL players and CTE. We also talked a lot about our fantastic feature story in this month’s Experience Life magazine which is focused on concussion awareness. You can read the full feature story here:

We talked for over 20 minutes on our segment and covered a lot of great info. Roshini commented on how she has watched my recovery progress and can tell how much I am improving every time she sees me on her show … she even got a little emotional which got ME emotional LOL! I owe a huge part of my recovery to Dr. Jeremy Schmoe at Minnesota Functional Neurology … he was the first doctor to truly believe me about my symptoms and totally validated my eye tracking issues and how much it was affecting my dizzy/balance.

In conjunction with National Concussion Awareness Day, Dr. Schmoe and his staff will be offering complimentary baseline brain health assessments at his clinic in Minnetonka on Sept. 16th.

You can listen to the show below, please leave us some comment love or ask any questions you may have about my recovery!


Experience Life Magazine | Concussion Feature Story | Amy Zellmer & Dr Jeremy Schmoe

Experience Life magazine ran a full-length feature on concussions in the Sept/Oct issue which is on news stands now! This magazine is produced by Lifetime Fitness and reaches 750,000 paid subscribers plus 2.3 membership subscriptions delivered to their mailboxes every other month!

Read the PDF online HERE. 

I was asked back in January if I would be willing to share my story with their circulation of almost 3 million print readers, and I was thrilled at the opportunity to help create more awareness around the topic that is near and dear to my heart (and head)!

The spread turned out absolutely amazing, and you can read the full article HERE in PDF form. They did a great job tying my experience in along with how Dr. Jeremy Schmoe from Minnesota Functional Neurology DC helped me in my recovery after 2.5 years of dealing with doctors who were dismissive and just didn’t understand concussion/TBI. We also shared the spread with the greatness of Dr. Bennet Omalu, which is a true honor! As well as a shout-out to LoveYourBrain yoga!

A huge thank you to Michael Dregni for his talented writing skills and the most enjoyable interview at a local coffee shop in Saint Paul.

I appreciate the opportunity to share my story and continue to raise awareness of this invisible injury that affects 2.8 million Americans each year, and is the leading cause of death and disability in the World. The more outlets we have to share our story, the more people we will reach. If even just 10% of the subscribers read this piece — that would truly be some serious advocacy at work!

Thank YOU for being a part of my journey!!

You can listen to my podcast here:
Read my Huff Post articles here:
Purchase my book on Amazon: