Raising Awareness For An Invisible Disease

By KBJR News 1

September 23, 2011 Updated Sep 23, 2011 at 10:02 PM CST

The Brain Injury Association of Minnesota will host its 10th annual walk for thought in Canal Park on Saturday.

The idea is to bring awareness to this often invisible disease.

Kelly Wilson has faced incredible difficulties since a terrible car accident six years ago almost killed her and left her with a traumatic brain injury.

"Well Kelly is just one of those success stories. Really we see them through out our company, we have over 150 residents but Kelly is one of them who has progressed even quicker" said TBI Administrator Larry Pajari.

Kelly was coming home from a friend's house on a cold winter evening when she hit a patch of black ice, lost control of her car, and ran head on into another vehicle.

"A guard rail went through the wind shield six inches through my head, rolled down a 100 foot embankment, the guard rail hit my head, I crawled out the windshield. Went to termination to make it up the hill and I made it up the hill. Made it over the guard rail into the ambulance" recalled Kelly.

Kelly spent months in a coma and woke up to a different world.
She had to learn to walk and talk again. Its been a long and challenging process.

"There's been situations that we work with because of some of the impulse control, things that the brain injured goes through"

"I was really angry with myself not knowing who I was or how to control myself"

With time, counseling from her TBI group home, and a lot of hard work, Kelly has come a long way.

Kelly has been able to attend youth groups regularly, work at Old Navy and take classes at Lake Superior College.

Kelly wants to become a Medical receptionist and help others who find themselves in situations similar to the one that changed her life.
But it will be a long road taken in steps one day at a time.

"Determination is the key getting up everyday is one first step"

Registration for Duluth's Walk for Thought begins at nine Saturday morning.

The walk starts at ten, running along Lake Superior.

Written for the web by: Zach Vavricka
zvavricka@northlandsnewscenter.com