The Story Behind LoveYourBrain
LoveYourBrain Updates | 1.21.2015
LoveYourBrain is the message that embodies our positive approach to brain injury prevention and recovery. Everything we do is about connecting, educating, and empowering people to promote a brain-healthy lifestyle.
How Did It All Begin?
Kevin Pearce was a 22 year old Olympic snowboarding hopeful and one of America’s top riders when a snowboarding accident in December 2009 led to a traumatic brain injury. Because of just one crash, Kevin went from winning contests across the globe to relearning how to walk, swallow and speak. This accident ended his career just shy of the 2010 Winter Olympics, leaving him in a coma for six days and a life-altering injury from which he will never fully recover.
Motivated by these unexpected experiences, the LoveYourBrain Foundation was created to offer programs to help improve the lives of those living with brain injury. These programs and partnerships are oriented to supporting individuals throughout the continuum of their lifelong recovery. By helping people protect and nourish their brain, we believe our efforts will lead to a healthier, happier world!
Why Do We Do This?
We are working to create programs and partnerships that provide solutions that address these common issues.
- Each year in the United States, at least 1.7 million Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) occur.
- During the year, over 173,000 cases of sports or action related TBIs are treated in individuals 19 years old or younger.
- The average lifetime healthcare costs for a TBI survivor are about $85,000 but can exceed $3 million.
- Roughly 25% of individuals who sustain a TBI will report suicidal ideation or attempt suicide.
In light of these statistics and motivated by Kevin’s experiences, LoveYourBrain has set out to inspire people to better understand the most vital and fragile human organ; the brain. Kevin is promoting LoveYourBrain all over the world by showing his HBO documentary, “The Crash Reel,” motivational speaking, camps, yoga, educational programs, and special appearances. In his own words, Kevin sheds some light on why the foundation is so important to him, saying:
“I had a really hard time figuring out what I want to be and what I could attach to and really connect with, but what I have found is helping and supporting other people. Before the accident I was helping me. I was going out there and winning these events and winning this money and going back and partying, and it was like, Great, Kevin’s having a good time, but it was never like, Kevin’s helping somebody that’s suffering right now, and that’s going through some hard times. I never had that ability to be aware of this, and now I do. I’m still getting better to this day, and working at it has been so brutal on me. I feel like I can use that awareness and really do something important and special.”
Our flagship program, LoveYourBrain Yoga, is dedicated to providing affordable and accessible yoga and meditation practices that are tailored to the needs of the brain injury community. It is based on growing science evidence which continues to show that yoga and meditation can provide powerful physical, cognitive, and emotional benefits. Our program aims to serve as a gateway for the brain injured community to participate in these practices, and thus follow a more holistic approach to leading a brain healthy lifestyle.
“I have a huge opportunity to help these kids with brain injuries who don’t have a whole snowboarding community, and don’t have the best family in the world behind them. If I can do that, that really is going to help me make this life feel worth living.”
The LoveYourBrain mission also addresses head injury prevention, urging athletes to wear helmets, as well as providing instructions on what to do if you hit your head. For Kevin, it’s the first step toward figuring out how to change his perspective into something larger than snowboard competitions and being on top of the podium.
Learn more about LoveYourBrain at www.loveyourbrain.org and follow us on social media, @loveyourbrain on Twitter and Instagram, to help us spread awareness about brain injury and the LoveYourBrain cause.