ALLISON COOK, BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS ADVOCATE
Allison has had five concussions; four were from playing sports and the fifth was from a devastating car accident. The worst brain injury happened when she was 15 years old: it was her third concussion and shortly after the injury she was diagnosed with Post Concussive Syndrome. Everyday since the incident, which has now been for over 12 years, Allison has severe daily headaches and manages various other lasting symptoms.
Allison passionately advocates for brain injury awareness because of her own struggle to manage her symptoms and discover adequate treatment options. She has dedicated her career to working in medical imaging with the hopes that diagnostic medical technologies will continue to improve and help all of those still struggling to find the cause of their pain. Allison hopes for a world where advanced diagnosis and treatment options are affordable and accessible to all. In the meantime, she wants to use her story to encourage others to overcome life’s obstacles and become the champion of their life!
Brain injuries are not “one size fits all”; symptoms and lasting effects vary from person to person. Allison wishes that people knew the depths of the phrase “invisible injury” because she knows that oftentimes those suffering the most look “fine” on the outside. Also, it is important to know that your brain is your body’s “command center.” If it is injured, other body systems and structures may be affected too.
Just because you haven’t found a treatment “yet” doesn’t mean that you never will! Medical technologies are getting better every single day leading to more in-depth diagnoses and more effective treatment options. Do your best to recognize that life itself is a gift; try to take whatever life throws at you and do your best! Never give up hope and have faith that something better is coming.
Everyone has their own story; obstacles in their life that are difficult to overcome. Yet, as Philosopher Albert Camus famously said: "Life is the sum of your choices." Take each day, day by day, and commit to making a better decisions than you did yesterday. This is your chance to defeat life’s obstacles and become the champion of your life!
Five time concussion survivor Allison Cook joined host Cristabelle Braden as a guest of Season 2 of Hope Survives | Brain Injury Podcast! They talk about finding confidence, knowing your worth, coping with symptoms, overcoming imposter syndrome, the invisible injury, and much more!
Allison has been advocating for Brain Injury Awareness since 2012 and joined the Brain Injury Association of America in 2019. Over the past 10 years, Allison has spoke to thousands of people all across the country regarding the long term affects of brain injuries and various treatment options.
Current BIAA Involvement:
-BIAA Amplifier - Policy Influencer
-End of Year Giving Campaign Advocate
-Professional Member of State Chapter - Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon (BIAOR)
-Active social media campaign leader and fundraiser for both National Concussion Awareness Day and Brain Injury Awareness Day
Other brain injury organizations and campaigns that Allison has been affiliated with:
-Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon
-the Headway Foundation