Monthly Archives: September 2013

Press Release: New Interactive Feature, “What Brought You Here?” Launches Oct 13th


The Knockout Project Announces New Interactive Feature, “What Brought You Here?”

Belchertown, Massachusetts – September 23, 2013 – The concussion education website “The Knockout Project” is taking a leap forward in terms of relevant content delivery.

Since founding The Knockout Project in late 2012, former athlete and multiple concussion sufferer Jason Fraga has been working on shaping the content that the fledgling website would provide. Said Fraga, “I had a vision for the void that The Project would fill, but the truth is, I knew from the start that this would be a work in progress. It was important to me that we would rush to get the website online – even if it were skeletal in the beginning.”

Realizing the potential of site metrics, Fraga came up with the concept of “What Brought You Here?”

“Immediately, it became clear from referrer stats that questions typed into search engines- which ultimately delivered people to our website- were a valuable and sometimes heartbreaking commodity. People in the throes of concussion aftermath are often desperate for answers- answers that are sometimes lacking with medical professionals in their area. We’ve been down that road already and can offer insight. To that end, “What Brought You Here?” is a short video segment produced by members of The Knockout Project Round Table (our Board members) that gives us a way to address our audience in the most personal terms: by answering their questions directly on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. In addition to scouring search engine terms, we’ll post a link where users can submit their questions to us. Knowledge is a valuable commodity, and we aim to provide it to people on a number of fronts: Prevention, possible treatments, as well as an outlet for people to get their stories off their chests. All are important in our view. The bottom line is that we’re very excited about the possibilities that this initiative brings.”


Founded in November 2012, The Knockout Project was an answer to an athlete’s struggles while dealing with the aftermath of Post-Concussion Syndrome. Those struggles manifested themselves in a number of ways: Physical, Cognitive, and Emotional. That athlete was determined to educate others so that they didn’t make the same mistakes that he did- in the hope that others would avoid a similar fate.

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Jay Fraga

If You’ve Just Suffered A Concussion, This Is The Most Important Video to Watch, Understand, and Apply to Yourself.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many of us wouldn’t be in the positions that we’re in if we had this knowledge at the time of our injuries and had acted on it. And, ACTING on it is important. Planting yourself in a dark room is boring. But, you can hack it for a few days. It’s certainly better than the alternative, which is having the injury drag on for weeks, months, or even years. Parents, resist the urge to give in to your kids because they’re “bored” of sitting still. You don’t need the financial burden and time drain that continuous treatment will bring. And, you certainly don’t need a broken kid. Do it right the first time, and don’t screw it up.

Doctor Robert Cantu with the most important two minutes you can spend:


Jay Writes: Dear Diary.

Dear Diary:

My life feels like a race. But, it doesn’t feel like the kind of race that I’m used to being in.

Everything about it seems heightened, urgent, and rushed. I’m in a race to regain the old me. I’m in a race to spend as much time with my family as I possibly can. I’m in a race to educate others about concussions, so that they don’t have to experience what so many of us have experienced as a result.

I’m haunted by the prospect that while intense physical therapy seems to be bringing my visual and vestibular symptoms to a livable (not normal; just, livable) state, that there is still something happening inside my head that is degenerative in nature. I’m a prisoner to my own thoughts, and they are constant. I have always been very analytical in nature and highly sensitive to noticing nuances; differences in every aspect of my experience, whether in terms of subtle sounds that my car was making, a change in weather, or the shift in a person’s body language. That feature has always been my internal alarm mechanism, and it has never done me wrong when it came to illuminating issues. But now, I find that I use it to discern changes in my cognition, and to take notes of it. I can’t help but to itemize those things and extend them out to their logical conclusion in a mental equation.

Our intellect is our lowest common denominator. It’s all that we have. The prospect of it slowly going away is frightening. Each instance of cognitive fog: forgetting words, not knowing why you’re in a certain place, seeing friends in public and not recognizing their face until just after it’s clear to them that something is amiss is terrifying. Seeing the look on my Wife’s face when she sees me struggling to remember something that I wanted to tell her is crushing. And, I think that it all adds up to something. Or, at least, that’s my gut instinct.

For a person whose gut has always served them well, this is a scary road to walk on.

Fall sports are just starting up again. Already, my inbox is on fire from people who’ve just been diagnosed with a concussion or the parents of kids with one. And, as a result, I guess that I have gotten what I’ve asked for: an opportunity to warn others about the pitfalls of not taking concussion seriously as well as not understanding how to deal with the aftermath. Understanding those things while I was racking up concussions could have made an incredible difference for me and I can’t even to begin to tell you about what the regret of putting yourself and your family in a situation like this is like. If you are reading this, I am dedicated, however, to you never finding out what it’s like.

I don’t know where this goes. But, I hope people will listen.

The Knockout Project

Multiple Concussion Sufferer From PA Details Her Experiences

{ Editor’s note: Isabella’s experience highlights the most common (and nerve-wracking) bullet point that many of us have learned as multiple concussion sufferers: That it takes virtually no effort at all to re-injure yourself once you get the ball rolling with concussions. We know that the effects of concussions are cumulative and that each one increases the likelihood of the next one- even from a slight bump. Living under that sort of cloud day to day is stressful and very difficult; especially, as you are working hard to recover from current symptoms.   – Jay }

By Isabella Cantafio

isabellaI never knew what a concussion was until I got my first one in a soccer game in 6th grade. I headed the ball in the air with another player and fell back whipping my head off the ground. I remember feeling in a blur and sat out for about 5 minutes before returning into play. By the end of the game my head felt like someone was hitting it with a hammer and I was on a merry go round ride. My next concussion came in 8th grade from hitting my head off the gymnasium floor leaving me unconscious for 2 minutes and sending me to the hospital.

Nearing the end of my freshman year, I was in a water park accident that caused a concussion and forced me to end my 9th grade year early.

A few weeks after the accident (never being officially cleared by IMPACT test) I was playing soccer with some friends and got kicked in the head causing another concussion.

Over the summer until the start of my sophomore year I had intermittent headaches, got easily dizzy and overall didn’t feel right. I didn’t think it was from the concussion but when school started I found it hard to concentrate, my grades started slipping and the headaches just got worse.

Two months into the school year, I passed out, hitting my head and was unconscious for almost a half an hour spending 3 days in the hospital under observation for seizure activity. After the accident, I had double/ blurry vision for several months, fainting spells, problems in school, and severe migraines that seemed to never leave.

Doing vision and vestibular therapy for 5 months things started to improve until fooling around with some friends I got pushed back jarring my head causing many of my symptoms to come roaring back.

I was forced to end my sophomore year early bed bound for 5 months unable to watch tv, text or do anything that would stimulate my brain. It was horrible to say the least.

Playing basketball my junior year I got hit in the head causing another concussion.

A few months after that, I got a knee to the head and blacked out for several seconds. Not much force was needed to knock me out at this point. The summer leading to my senior year I had moderate improvements in my post-concussion symptoms and was really looking forward to senior year and looking into college.

Just when everything started improving, things spiraled downward quickly, and I got back to back concussions, 2 weeks apart. The latter of the two was a car accident that caused a neck injury and more concussion problems. I’ve been in and out of the hospital trying to get the migraines under control, doing more vision and vestibular therapy and cognitive exercises to help with short term memory problems and concentration issues, sleeping problems and mood swings.

The one thing out of my experience I have learned is to never take anything for granted. You may think you are “invincible” and you can play through any pain. But with concussions it is your brain, something you can’t replace, you need to take care of it.

No game is worth years or possibly a lifetime of problems. I can never play sports again, I still have many problems from my injuries and my college plans are on hold for now. But sometimes in life the road that everyone else is taking, isn’t the road you are supposed to be on.

Take every day one day at a time and never give up!