Tag Archives: KO Project Round Table Members

PCS: A Parents’ Perspective

{Editor’s note: In 2012, I was contacted by a then-sophomore in high school who was having trouble dealing with the rigors of PCS on top of trying to be a student. She asked me to help her work through things. What came out of that has been a wonderful friendship with a very resilient girl who is now a freshman in college and who still soldiers through some absolutely incredible symptoms. She always tells me how tough I am, but I think she’s tougher. It has also earned me a director on our board in the form of that very resilient girl. Who better to help me guide the trajectory of The Knockout Project? I am thankful that Alicia has such great parents who will go to such lengths in her search for good health.  –Jay}

jensensFrom left: Mike and Joy Jensen with their children Mike, Alicia, Sean, Ashley, and Matthew

By Mike Jensen

As any parent would agree, the most difficult and stressful job you could ever have is raising a child.  You take all of your experiences that you learned in life, and use them to guide and teach your children to meet the challenges that life will throw at them, and hopefully they can build a better life for themselves and future generations.  But, there is one thing you can never prepare for.  That is if your child is sick or injured.  When Alicia got her concussion in April 2012, I was concerned, but, with the little experience I had with concussions, I didn’t know what to expect.  When I was in youth sports, if someone got hit in the head, or, as we used to call it “got his bell rung”, it was no big deal.  Even if the word concussion was mentioned, the consensus for getting better was a few days rest.

I learned a lot since April 2012.  Alicia was 15 at the time, been playing soccer since she was 6, never got too badly hurt.  Not even a minor injury would set her back too far.  On this day, she was defending a play when the opposing player attempted to kick the ball down into the offensive when it struck the side of Alicia’s head.  She went down, got right up, slowly, and said she was fine.  That was right at the end of the half, so there was no real question of removing her form the game, the half was over.  After half time, she felt OK, went back out, and right at the end of the game, she got hit again.  Hit twice the same way in the same game.  After 10 years of soccer, she played her last game, and has had a debilitating headache ever since. Continue reading

Simmons College Freshman Reflects on the Past Three Years with PCS

By Madeline Uretsky

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Recently in my college writing class, I was assigned to write a paper on a learning experience. Naturally, I chose to write about living with a brain injury. I hope that this can be of help to anyone suffering, or any caregivers who may need hope.

Sunglasses on, and slumped in my seat, I awaited the verdict at the first of many appointments with my neurosurgeon. After producing an unsatisfactory symptom chart, and failing almost every test, I knew that I would be diagnosed with a severe concussion and neck injury. Everyone I had come in contact with could tell that something was just not right with me. Was it the fact that I had no short-term memory? That I wore sunglasses inside my dark house? That I could not walk on my own? Or, that I was unable to hold a conversation? My fifteen-year-old self never could have predicted the physical and emotional effects that followed this first appointment. While painfully recovering from this injury for over three years, persevering and giving hope to others has helped me to find my place in this world. Continue reading

A Letter to Myself, Two Years Ago

{Editor’s note: Alicia Jensen is a freshman at Towson University. She was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome her sophomore year of high school. After writing this, she read it and sat on it. She realized that it reminded her of Luka Carfagna’s wonderful piece. I told Alicia to hand it over and that it was important to publish it anyway. –Jay}

By Alicia Jensen

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Alicia, second from right 

Dear Alicia,

You’re in pain. I can feel it now, and I know exactly where you are: Probably laying in bed, in the dark, alone, praying and wishing for the pain of PCS to go away. You had a tough day at school today, huh? head on the desk, waiting for the bell to ring just so that you can go to another one for 52 minutes. I wish I could tell you that tomorrow will be easier and that you’ll be in less pain, but I can’t. Continue reading

The 504 Plan: School Accommodations and Protections for Your Concussed Student Athlete

By Alicia Jensen

After student athletes suffer a concussion, the first thing that pops into their heads is, “When can I play again?” What many might not realize at first is that the effects of concussions are way more than just physical in nature. Concussions mentally and cognitively impair that athlete either along with the physical symptoms or even after they have been cleared to go back on the field.

Many student athletes like me who are diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome may notice some cognitive symptoms as they return back to school. Symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, a short attention span, and the terrible list goes on and on. Continue reading

A Rising Tide Floats All Boats; A Falling Tide Drops Them All On The Rocks

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We’ve all taken our eyes off the ball

By: Jay Fraga

While the sports world stands trivially transfixed with Richard Sherman’s NFC Championship post-game interview, lawyers on both sides of the recently-denied-for-preliminary-approval NFL Concussion Settlement scurry around in relative obscurity. With the sheer outrage mustered toward Sherman’s antics, one would think that America’s Game is being threatened. Once again, we’re proving as a nation that we are easily distracted.

America’s Game IS being threatened- but it’s not being threatened by Richard Sherman’s interview decorum. America’s Game is being threatened by a sub-par settlement, chiseled out by the bean counters and face savers at the NFL as well as a handful of plaintiff attorneys, who will take a sizeable sum of the bounty for their own coffers rather than forward it to deserving players. Worse yet, the settlement is based on troublesome language that calls to question just which players might qualify for medical benefits under it (for more detail on that, Patrick Hruby’s January 14th article is good reading). Continue reading

Press Release: 2008 US Olympic Bronze Medalist and Three Time World Champion BMX Racer Donny “dR” Robinson Joins The Knockout Project’s Board of Directors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

2008 US OLYMPIC BRONZE MEDALIST AND THREE TIME WORLD CHAMPION BMX RACER DONNY “dR” ROBINSON JOINS THE KNOCKOUT PROJECT’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

Belchertown, Massachusetts – January 17, 2013- The concussion education initiative, “The Knockout Project”, announced today the appointment of Donny Robinson to its board, the “KO Roundtable”.

Robinson, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Bronze Medalist in BMX Racing, brings valuable experience, knowledge, and reflection to the table in terms of concussive history. Robinson has suffered over twenty concussions in his two decades worth of racing. Recently, Donny has been speaking out to racers and parents about a subject that he never really thought twice about; while trying to convey the serious nature of identifying concussions, sitting out until healed, and seeking a doctor’s advice before returning to action. Continue reading

Fixing Concussions with Band-Aid’s: How Effective is the NFL’s Defenseless Receiver Rule?

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By Kevin Saum

Improving health and safety in football became a passion of mine after I suffered from second impact syndrome while playing in a high school football game and fell victim to the culture of toughness that exists in all sports. Despite the fact that football nearly took my life, to this day I still love the game and I do not regret one play from my 10 years of participation. Many of my fondest memories are from playing high school football and I credit the game and my coaches for making me the man I am today. Because of the intense passion I have for football, I become infuriated when I see professional players undermining the NFL’s attempts to make the game safer by taking cheap shots on defenseless receivers. Continue reading

A Wife Opens Up About Living With Someone With Post-Concussion Syndrome

{ Editor’s note: My finger lingered for a while before hitting the “post” button on this piece. It did so, because it’s painful. It was written by my Wife, who I love very much. The physical pain of this fight is equally rivaled by the knowledge that your family is hurting along with you, and that you’re responsible for putting yourself and them in this position. It’s not easy to come to terms with that. But, if we’re truly going to be educational about the aftermath of concussion and ignoring your injuries, then this has to be spoken about. – Jay }

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By Jessica

I can’t focus today. I have to grade eight more papers and a week’s worth of discussion posts. Yet, here I sit staring at my macbook hoping that it will just magically happen. I’m sitting in my favorite coffee and tea café listening to the chatter of others and the espresso machine. It’s relaxing. I don’t have to worry about anything (other than the fact I’m not getting any work done).

Every day, I wake up with a knot in my shoulders. I’m stressed out before I even leave my bed. I bring a lot of the stress on. I try to do too much. I try to make others happy while often giving up my own simple pleasures (I really want a f’n latte right now but I’m sipping black tea with no sugar). Continue reading

Jay Fraga Interview With Mike Carruth of BMX News

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On Tuesday, July 23, Mike Carruth of BMX News spoke with Jay Fraga about concussions in sports and why Jay started The Knockout Project. You can download or stream the interview here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bmxnews/2013/07/24/bmx-news-announcers-tower-live–july-23-2013-1

Reality of Post Concussion Syndrome Driven Home By Web Search Statistics

By Jay Fraga

As the founder of this site, I take a keen interest in trying to figure out how people are getting here. Many arrive at The Knockout Project because of an article or post that has been shared via social media. Some people get here by accident; many after their own accident while they search for answers in an attempt to get some relief.  As someone who still suffers from some rather lousy post concussion symptoms daily, I can’t help but to read our site’s internal statistics and envision the suffering on the other end when a person types a phrase or question into a search engine that ultimately leads them here.

I’d like to share with you some of the searches that have led people to our site within the last four months. Some of the search queries offer poignant insight into the suffering that can exist post-concussion. For me, these queries are often hard to read. I’ve felt many of these symptoms and know how bad they can be physically and mentally. In that particular light, they’re not just search queries: they’re my life. They’re the lives of other athletes that I know. And now they are an unfortunate part of someone else’s life; someone seeing our site for the first time via a search engine query.

  • the knockout project
  • post concussion syndrome
  • the knockout project concussion
  • knockout project
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  • raising a child with post concussion syndrome
  • can post concussion syndrome last forever?
  • post concussion college teen
  • post concussion light sensitivity and computer screens
  • how to explain my post concussion syndrome
  • nobody understands my concussion
  • how do i explain post concussion syndrome to people
  • looking backward when you have a concussion
  • post concussion syndrome changed my life
  • post concussion syndrome even years later some people can’t focus
  • why do we forget what happens concussion
  • my boyfriend has post concussion syndrome
  • my post concussion story
  • why are memories forgotten during concussion
  • multiple concussions data tables
  • concussion can’t bend head down
  • stories about second impact syndrome
  • how to get my taste back after concussion
  • sara birkholz
  • theknockoutproject.com
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  • kevin saum
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  • ride at disney world feels like concussion
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  • junior seau eye of a champion #45
  • a soccer player
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  • concussed me
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  • concussion emergency they gave me an iv
  • concussion mission statements
  • kevin saum concussion article rutgers
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  • post-concussion syndrome soccer
  • sara birkholz rochester mn images
  • cuncussion from bouncing on mountain bike
  • amateurism perpetuates
  • vivid dreams after concussion
  • post concussive syndrome in adolescents
  • kevin saum football injury
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  • duluth mn neurologists who specialize in concussions
  • racing drivers head whipped forward after crash pain shooting up head
  • can someone help me write an impact statement after a car accident that cause whiplash
  • post concussion doctors in mineapolis
  • second impact syndrome survior
  • bmx biking project
  • jay fraga bmx
  • 12 yr old with multiple concussions
  • concussion helps me hang on some people claim
  • i crashed on my mountain bike and i got unconcious what possible the cause
  • jay fraga bmx racer
  • multiple concussion syndrome
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  • bradley multiple concussion
  • concussions in sports paraphrases
  • athlete and concussions story
  • football post concussions
  • multiple soccer concussion stories
  • theknockoutproject
  • concussion awareness programs rochester
  • second impact syndrome
  • need more toughtness to ride my bike
  • knockoutproject.org
  • relapse of concussions symptoms
  • i didn’t have a headache until the day after i hit my head, could i have a concussion
  • century projects april 2013
  • post concussion syndrome for time on act
  • words of wisdom for people with concussions
  • sara birkholz 
  • sara birkholz 
  • i have a concussion now what? 
  • can a concussion cause you to see upside down
  • post concussion syndrome athletes stories
  • post concussion dizziness when bending down
  • most common freak accidents
  • mental toughness in education project
  • knockout i don’t remember
  • no screen time for post concussion
  • teen who misses freshman year in h.s. because of concussion
  • post concussion syndrome in football
  • i need help with my post concussion symptoms
  • i ‘ m fine coach put me back in the game
  • can a concussion change your belief
  • bmx massachusetts
  • seeing my daughter lying on a backboard in the er
  • kimberly mcnicholl ny high school east
  • is a knockout a concussion
  • nausea when reading post concussion
  • most interesting bmx speech
  • vivid dreams concussion
  • had a concussion can’t look at screen
  • can i play soccer if i have post concussion syndrome
  • why is whiplash a major part of concussions
  • concussions mission statement
  • alicia jentzen
  • alicia jensen
  • senior project concussions
  • life course for someone with cte concussions
  • do concussions force bad throws
  • multiple concussions
  • i got my fourth concussion
  • when did society become aware of football concussions
  • projects on concussions
  • music to go along with a concussion project
  • no.14,mcnichols
  • are amusement rides dangerous for those with a recent concussion
  • second-impact syndrome story
  • why is using a cell phone post concussion
  • amantadine concussion
  • trends of how more teens are going to get tested for concussions
  • reboundibility in mental toughness
  • nauseous after second impact
  • nausea from flourescent lights post concussion
  • kevin saum nj

Concussions are no joke. They entail much more than just an abstract sounding word. This list only scratches the surface of that reality.