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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

A hug is duct tape for the soul.

How sad that it's taken someone famous to finally shine a spotlight on traumatic brain injury. It wasn't enough that every year "1.4 million Americans suffer a TBI — more than are struck by heart attacks." It also wasn't enough that more than a year ago TBI "officially" became the signature wound of the Iraq War.

I remember having a somewhat heated conversation with a producer for Larry King Live because she was adamant that they would only do a show on TBI if it was headline news. I questioned just exactly what more they wanted -- newspapers had reported that TBI was the war's signature wound. Hundreds of young Americans were being shipped home from Iraq with this life-altering injury that the general public apparently knew very little about. But that was not newsworthy enough, and very soon, even the few newspapers who'd carried stories were silent.

Now that Bob Woodruff has published a book on his own injury, TBI is all over the media. Television, radio, newspapers, magazines. It's what we've wanted for so long -- for people to recognize both its seriousness and pervasiveness. I'm relieved and grateful that the country's getting this education, but I still wonder what it says about us and our media that it took celebrity status to accomplish what TBI's millions of victims and the war's recent wounded could not -- get someone to listen.

Read a good MSNBC article here.

And go here for a New York Times piece on the problems our newest severely wounded veterans are facing.

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I agree. In our celebrity-based culture, it's who you are that counts. Like Christopher Reeve did for spinal injuries and Michael J. Fox for Parkinson's, Bob Woodruff is doing for TBI. Long overdue.
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