Founder’s Message

crashbig1I was an athlete. I was a coach. It turns out that I am still a coach.

When multiple concussions finally took me off my racing bike forever in 2010, I was lost. The competitor in me was left with a decision that was gut wrenching, but inevitable: quitting the sport that I loved. That was hard to reconcile. I was diagnosed shortly thereafter with Post Concussion Syndrome. My symptoms were absolutely horrendous and I faltered when they were at their worst, wondering if I would have the strength to see this particular battle through without taking my life. I had known significant adversity before, but the misery and intensity of these prolonged post concussion symptoms were unlike anything I’d ever experienced, including symptoms from previous concussions. I found myself physically unable to continue to coach my team, and I retired completely from the sport in October of 2012, closing my race-oriented business and ceasing race team operations.

With the help of my wife, kids, great doctors who were well versed in concussion, and some well-placed advice from survivors of TBI, I was able to lift myself out of the darkness and rediscover the competitor within.  I resolved to help myself as well as others.

My racing background ultimately proved invaluable. The same work ethic and lessons that I learned on the BMX track and then preached to my riders were easily translated into working towards recovery. I am not out of the woods yet, but I am making progress.

Today, I’m dedicated to furthering awareness of the dangers of concussions, particularly those in youth and high school sports. I’ve done public speaking on the subject to Coaches, Physicians, Athletic Trainers, School Nurses, and Concerned Parents. I’ve been known to troll the concussion hash tag on Twitter and dispense accepted NASP information on concussion healing protocol to athletes who are tweeting about their concussions and don’t know any better. I am resolute that I will increase awareness within my own small sphere of influence, hoping that it catches on and multiplies outward. I will do everything in my power to try to help protect my kids and your kids from the dangers of concussions and their subsequent mismanagement. There is a lot at stake. It’s incredibly important to me that the mistakes that I made with my concussions, which led me to this place, are not made by anyone else.

Finally, I hear from a number of people who are fighting their own battles with post-concussion syndrome. It’s important to understand that with time and the right doctors, you will get through this. The misery is sometimes unparalleled, but you can and will get through it. Be strong.

Thank you for your interest in The Knockout Project,

Jay Fraga

9 thoughts on “Founder’s Message

  1. gwen mcnicholl

    Your knowledge and answers have helped me already through a tough time with my daughter. I think you found your calling. Athletes start much to young and maybe we are over-doing it with our kids and sports. When they have to quit in high school because they have been injured so much, we have a problem!

    Reply
    1. jfraga Post author

      Gwen, thanks so much for your kind comments. I very much appreciate them, and I hope that your daughter is moving forward with her healing!

      Best wishes,

      Jay

      Reply
  2. tony degollado

    This is such a great site. I wish you health and happiness. Keep up the great work!!!!

    tonyd.

    Reply
    1. jfraga Post author

      Tony, thank you for the kind words! It’s great to see someone from the racing world here on the site.

      Reply
  3. jfraga Post author

    Don Brady asked us to help him post the following message here:

    ———————————————————————————————————-
    Jay and concussion / brain injury survivors,

    Thank you for spot-lighting various unfortunate personal & actual concussion / brain injury experiences.

    These real and surreal experiences portrayed on this post should assist some other persons and families who are struggling with the ongoing aftermath of the misnomer…. “just a concussion”.

    Sadly much misinformation has been disseminated re this important and continued neglected and often misunderstood topic. This misinformation is negatively impacting medical care to individuals after suffering a brain injury.

    Below are links / URLs to two Sport-Related Concussion (SRC) articles that my wife, Florence, and I recently co-wrote. These articles were published online during June (2011) by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

    ============================================

    · Sport-Related Concussions. June 2011. Brady, D. & Brady, F.

    http://www.nasponline.org/publications/cq/39/8/sport-related-concussions.aspx

    ·

    Sport-Related Concussions: Myths and Facts. June 2011. Brady, D. & Brady, F.

    http://www.nasponline.org/publications/cq/39/8/pdf/V39N8_Sport-RelatedConcussions.pdf

    ===========================================

    One of the articles provides a broader perspective re SRCs. This article emphasizes the importance of cognitive, physical and emotional brain rest & also discusses an often missing component of sport-related concussion articles: the academic & social difficulties student-athletes encounter returning to school after suffering a concussion.

    Numerous concussion / brain injury myths are dispelled in the other SRC article.

    The 2 SRC articles also cite historical references and may be easily accessed via the Publication page of my website: http://www.donbrady.com.

    Don

    Don Brady, PhD, PsyD, NCSP, LMFT
    Licensed Clinical Psychologist
    Nationally and NYS Certified School Psychologist
    Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

    Medical Center East
    5900 North Burdick Street
    Suite 102 – C
    East Syracuse, NY 13057

    Reply
  4. Francois Beauvais

    Hi Jay,

    Left you a message last year through the concussion blog. It’s been a year that I had my 9th known concussion where I finally got a PCS diagnosis. I have some good days and some bad, as you probable know. Just want to say thanks. Your story was inspiring and now; I’ve just shared your wife story with mine. it was an emotional moment. Thank you for your involvement in this cause.

    Francois Beauvais

    Reply
    1. jfraga Post author

      Francois,

      Thank you for the nice words! I really appreciate them. I hope that you have more good days than bad, and that you continue to progress well in this.

      Best wishes and thanks again,

      Jay

      Reply
  5. denise uhlman

    Love what you’re doing Jay!Had much difficulty with daughter’s school following an injury at school causing concussion.8 -9 months before she started feeling better.It was awful the way they treated her.
    Following you, your organization,and Alicia J 🙂

    Reply
  6. Ryder77

    Thank you, I just found your website. I have been going through post concussion syndrome with my husband for the last 6 years (from professional bull riding). Your website has really helped me understand how he’s feeling and I want to thank you.

    Reply

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