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Concussions Speak is a website for athletes to share their concussion stories. Phase one of Concussionspeak.com will have video and audio testimonials including interviews with individuals that have had concussions. The site will reach a broad audience by having a diversity of stories based on sex, age, gender, sport and number of concussions. We already have numerous volunteers who have committed to interview, but we want to target a wide variety of sports and a diverse degree of concussions. We have used our support from Erin Quinn, the athletic director, and Dr. Mark Peluso to ask Middlebury athletes to share their stories. We will be filming stories throughout the spring and launching the site over the summer.

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Dollars Raised: 213%

Funding Details

Deadline: Mar 01, 2013
Total needed: $2,000


Emma Kitchen '14.5 Economics Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
Kait Surdoval '12 Architecture major, Economics minor Sparta, NJ

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The goal of the site is to create a support network and open community for any athlete who has suffered a concussion. We were both varsity athletes who suffered concussions that forced us to switch sports. We hope that sharing stories through our website will help open a dialogue about concussions. We’ve gained momentum after winning MiddCORE and MiddCHALLENGE and are now looking to achieve our fundraising goals for our site to launch this summer. Another dimension to our project is to outreach to high schools. We will be traveling to tell our story and spread awareness at high schools, starting at the Ethel Walker school. We will be registering as a 501c3 non-profit entity in the State of Vermont.

We’ve both been through and understand the uncertainties felt during the recovery period. During Emma’s first semester at an NCAA university, a major head injury forced her to forgo the first season as a member on the Alpine Ski Team. This caused her to spend six months on bed rest, with no physical activity, no reading, no writing, no screens (including phone, TV and computer) and minimal social activity.  Kait had a career ending series of concussions that required her to stop playing on the Varsity Women’s Soccer Team.

We’ve both had very serious accidents but there was no therapy or cure, and no timeline. The most challenging part of the injury was trying to convince ourselves that we were not alone in the experience. We wish we had been able to speak with more athletes who had been through a similar recovery.

2 Responses to “Concussions Speak”

  1. Emma Kitchen says:

    Thank you for your gift, we really appreciate the support. Yes, we will be doing much more public speaking for the cause and absolutely stressing the safety and prevention. In our talks, the goal is to not only explain our experience but really try and focus to the positives, and what we learned from our accidents. We want to make sure everyone knows what concussions really are, and their importance, but also that they don’t need to be viewed so negatively. Please check out our facebook page for regular updates as well. Thanks again and Happy Holidays!

  2. parent1 says:

    I will contribute something to this cause. I hope you will also stress safety and prevention, although the nature of some sports precludes that. As a parent of a concussed student I have seen the effects and understand the tribulations. Good luck with the project.

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