Sarah Jane’s Dad Asks President Obama & Speaker Pelosi

For Immediate Release Contact: Jennipher Dickens

September 22, 2010 (212) 576-1180 or jennipher@thebrainproject.org

NEW YORK, NY – Flanked by children with brain injuries and their families outside the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC) fund-raiser, the father of Sarah Jane Donohue (the namesake of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation) asked President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to become a “Voice For My Child” by allowing an up-or-down vote on the most broad-based, bi-partisan healthcare initiative during the entire Congress: H. Con. Res. 198. Currently over 110 Members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors of this measure, yet Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ6) refuses to allow an up-or-down vote and will not explain his reasoning.

“I am asking President Obama and Speaker Pelosi to stop one Democratic Member of Congress, Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ6), from holding up the most broad-based, bi-partisan healthcare initiative the entire Congress,” said Patrick Donohue, father of Sarah Jane Donohue and founder of The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation. “I am asking President Obama and Speaker Pelosi to join this bi-partisan effort and become a Voice For My Child and the millions of children just like her by endorsing the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan.”

“Every 40 SECONDS an American child or young adult enter an emergency department suffering from a brain injury. The National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan is the most comprehensive, collaborative plan to prevent, identify and treat the #1 leading cause of death and disability for American youth, which is brain injury,” continued Patrick Donohue. “Every 9 ½ MINUTES an American is infected with HIV. The federal government invests more than $3 Billion annually towards HIV/AIDS research but less than $100 Million annually towards pediatric acquired brain injury research. Why can’t our government support both?”

On July 13, 2010, the White House released its National HIV/AIDS Strategy with three primary goals:

1. Reducing the number of people who become infected with HIV;

2. Increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes for people living with HIV; and,

3. Reducing HIV-related health disparities.

On July 26, 2010 (the 20th Anniversary of The Americans with Disabilities Act), Sarah Jane Donohue delivered a letter to President Obama at the White House asking for him to convene a White House Summit to begin implementing the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan (PABI Plan). Over 110 Members of Congress have already endorsed the PABI Plan by co-sponsoring H. Con. Res. 198. The PABI Plan develops a seamless, standardized, evidence-based system of care that is universally accessible for the millions of PABI families regardless of where they live in the nation.

For a complete summary of H. Con. Res. 198 please read the recent letter to Congressman Frank Pallone from the Steering Committee of the International Advisory Board of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation: www.TheBrainProject.org/lettertopallone.php.

To read the entire National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan or to learn more information about The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, please visit: www.TheBrainProject.org

The more I think about Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ6), holding up the most broad-based, bi-partisan healthcare initiative the entire Congress,” the more I realize as a survivor of TBI - Voice, I feel that not only is it an insult to those Members of Congress who have already signed on as a co-sponsor, This is also very much of an insult to me and every, brain, injury, survivor, veteran, children, young adult, in the nation!

PABI is the leading cause of death and disability for children and young adults from birth through 25 years of age in the United States. Over 5, 000 deaths occur annually due to PTBI, over 17, 000 annually suffer from permanent disability due to PABI, and over 1, 000, 000 are hospitalized each year due to PABI. In addition, since most brains aren't fully developed until age 25, many of the Military Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with TBI are actually considered PABI. Pediatric Acquired Brain Injuries (PABI) include all traumatic causes plus brain injuries caused by brain tumors, strokes, meningitis, insufficient oxygen, poisoning, ischemia and substance abuse.

I can honestly say for myself, I wish on that July afternoon 22 years ago, that there was a national PABI plan in place. I wish that the States, doctors, and nurses, and all the cops, judges, and people whoever had the power over me had a clue about TBI. I wish that when I needed it, there were people to turn to, answers to the questions I didn't even know I had, and the resources in place for me. I wonder how different my life would be today.

Sincerely, Craig Sears

Craig Sears
The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation
339 5th Avenue - Suite 405 New York, NY 10016
Phone# 212.576.1180 email: craig@thebrainproject.org