Upcoming Book About INXS Front Man, Michael Hutchence, to Feature Quote From Amy Zellmer |

michael hutchence, inxs, tbi, brain injury, concussion, tina hutchence,I am so excited to announce the upcoming book by Tina Hutchence, “Michael: My Brother, Lost Boy of INXS” is due out this September and features a quote from ME! 

I was approached by Tina, who is the sister of the late Michael Hutchence – front man and lead singer of INXS – if she could use a quote from one of my articles she had found on Huffington Post.

This news came the morning after I had received a really nasty email from one of my haters, so it really impacted me to know that my work is reaching thousands (if not millions) of people around the entire world.

 

I am much more emotional since my brain injury, as well as more intuitive. When I started chatting with Tina, I immediately knew I was going to become fast friends with her, and that her work was going to impact SOOO many people, and help create yet another conversation around TBI and how it affects more than 3.5 million Americans each year — and worldwide it is the number one cause of death.

Michael committed suicide in 1997 at the young age of 37. In her book, Tina talks about the challenges he must have faced living with a TBI and taking the stage — with flashing lights and loudsounds — every night on tour.

Tina will be a guest on my podcast on 8/27 … you can listen HERE.

Read more about Tina and the pre-order herbook HERE.

Faces of TBI Podcast Featured on BlogTalkRadio |

Iamy zellmer, podcast, faces of tbi, BlogTalkRadio, blog talk radio, received some pretty exciting news Friday afternoon from BlogTalkRadio telling me my podcast was being featured on their homepage under “Noteworthy” podcasts!

I have been producing my Faces of TBI podcast since September 2015 and this is the first time I have received a feature on their homepage, so it is truly exciting!

I was told to keep up the good work with fantastic content on my podcast, which tells me I am doing something right when a tiny little podcast about brain injury is being featured on a global website!

A year ago, my podcast was named one of the “top 100 Rising and Popular Podcasts” by Simms media, you can read more HERE.

The episode they featured is “Return to Learn” with Roni Robinson fromChildren’s Hospital of Philadelphia. You can listen to it HERE.

Don’t forget, you can also subscribe through iTunes so you never miss an episode HERE.

HUGE thank you to my podcast sponsor, Midwest Functional Neurology, for making this podcast possible!!

Member Spotlight | The Challenge! Magazine | Brain Injury Association of America

Amy Zellmer, brain injury association of america, advocate, The newest issue of The Challenge! is out, the quarterly magazine of the Brain Injury Association of America. 

I have been writing the quarterly column “Brain Injury Advisory Council Corner: Member Spotlight” for the past two years, and my Editor told me to write my own personal essay for this issue! It’s truly exciting to see my own face staring back at me in this magazine!

Amy Zellmer, brain injury association of america, advocate, I am so honored to be a part of this amazing organization! The advisory council is made up of TBI survivors with lived experience, and we work as a liaison between the BIAA and survivors across the country. As a council, we collectively have a global reach of over 91,000 — which is pretty impressive given there are less than a dozen of us on this council!

You can read the full article online HERE or download the PDF version HERE.

Choose Happy | The Power of Positivity |


Every single day you make choices. You choose what time to get out of bed, what to eat, and what mood you’re going to be in.

Choosing to see the positive isn’t always easy. Nothing in life is always easy. 

But the more you can choose to be positive and grateful, the more fulfilling your life will become.

The hardest part of my recovery journey was accepting “this might be the best i’m going to get.” When I finally had that conversation with myself, and decided to put my big-girl-panties on, it changed the course of my recovery — for the better.

Once we learn to accept who we are RIGHT NOW, we can start to move forward. Living in the past serves NO ONE.

Yes, you may have been an amazing guitar player or an economist. And right now you might not know how to read music or add numbers. But that doesn’t mean you have to be miserable and angry. It’s just a speed bump.

We all need to take time to grieve the old us, and to make sense of the way our world was turned upside down. For me, it took about 15 months. And once I made that shift in my thinking, everything changed.

I realized that this may or may not be temporary. So if  I wanted to help others and make the most of my life, I needed to come to terms with it.

I have touched tens of thousands of lives through my work. Whether through one of my articles, my books, a podcast, or meeting someone in person. There are many survivors who I may never know or meet or know their name, but they have been impacted by my work.

And you know what? Without this injury, I would have never walked down this road.

I am forever grateful for my journey. While I hope to never hit my head again, I know that everything happens for a reason and I was meant to take this journey.

When it feels like the world is closing in around you and you want to scream and cry — GO AHEAD. It’s ok. But when that wave passes: choose happy.

 

Get a FREE Chapter | Life With a Traumatic Brain Injury | by Amy Zellmer

Grab your FREE chapter of my first book, Life With a Traumatic Brain Injury: Finding the Road Back to Normal by filling out the form below!

You will receive an email shortly after submitting with a link to download your free chapter!!

My June Advocacy Trip | Recap | Washington DC | Lansing, MI | New England

 

I have just returned from a two-week advocacy trip to the East Coast and wanted to share a recap with you!

I began my journey in Washington, DC at the Federal Interagency Conference on TBI. I was reunited with a few of my fellow Brain Injury Advisory Council members (Anne, Kelly, Cavin, and Josh) and met some folks I had been following, and made some new friends (hi Elizabeth!).

The first day of the conference the Plenary speakers were outstanding! (if you’re interested in reading some of my notes, I live tweeted — www.twitter.com/amyzellmer). Day two kicked off with Dr. Jeremy Schmoe and I presenting my case study “Brain Injury and the Vestibular System. (You can watch our video on YouTube.)

After the conference I stayed in the DC area for several days with my friend Toni and her service dog, Bud. I spoke at Argosy University to their Neuro Psychology Doctorate students and had a book signing at a local coffee shop (hi Julie!).

From Virginia I traveled to New England where I stayed with my friend, Amy, for a few days. We took a scenic drive up the Maine coast to look at lighthouses, and met up with another of my fellow Brain Injury Advisory Council members — Carole. She joined us for dinner where we waited out a nasty storm, and she brought me some DELICIOUS Maine strawberries that were in-season.

The next day Amy and I were fortunate enough to have lunch with Dr. Stephanie Mills and her daughter, Brooke. Together these two founded National Concussion Awareness Day, with the third annual coming up on Friday, September 21st! Together we did some brain-storming for a few other events we have coming up this year. These two are doing such amazing things for awareness, and I am grateful they had a few hours to spend with me!!

From New England I made my way to Lansing, MI where I was the opening Keynote speaker at their Brain Injury Symposium of Mid-Michigan, put together by Origami Rehab. These ladies were SO fantastic to work with. They made sure I had everything I needed and were incredibly accommodating and kind! The evening before my presentation, they lined up a radio interview with their local WKAR located on the Michigan University campus (which is GORGEOUS, btw), followed by a tour of their amazing facility!! I am super impressed with their rehab center, and am so grateful to know that such a place exists for those in Michigan dealing with brain injury.

My Keynote was well-received and I had amazing feedback. My favorite comment was from the professional photographer who was hired to photograph the event. He came up to me and told me he had been photographing the event for years, and that my presentation was the most engaging talk he had ever heard at the conference. I take that as quite a compliment!!

After Michigan I headed back home to Saint Paul. Pixxie and I are quite happy to be back home and sleeping in our own bed again!! I feel I accomplished a LOT of advocacy work on this trip, and am already looking forward to my next one this fall!

Thanks for reading my update!!

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.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
10am-2pm Brain Injury Awareness Fair
Rayburn Foyer, First floor, Rayburn House Office building.
2:30-4:00pm
Brain Injury Briefing
Longworth House Office Building Room 1539
5:00-7:00pm
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 www.senate.gov and click on your state
– 
To find your Representative you visit www.house.gov 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 acolberg@biausa.org 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!

HAVE FUN!

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