All Timbo at Home grants are distributed directly to the facility or organization that provides the health care service, never directly to the patient or family applicant. The foundation works primarily with The Brain Injury Association of New Jersey (www.bianj.org) and JFK Medical Center (www.jfkmc.org) to screen potential Timbo at Home grantees. The local and direct nature of Timbo at Home comprises the core of the foundation's mission.
Started in 2007, Timbo at Home has helped 36 families to date with new applications arriving weekly. Each individual grant varies in size dependent on need and all awards are made at the discretion of the Foundation. Here are some stories of just a few of the people we have helped during the past year:
Joe suffered severe brain injuries in a motor vehicle accident at the age of 21. He was in a coma for 30 days and needed a craniotomy, as well as a shunt. Joe was not able to hold a job after the accident and he spent his days alone in his apartment, no longer qualifying for therapies through his insurance company. His guardians, worried about his lack of daily activity, asked us to fund Joe's attendance of a clubhouse program at Moss Rehab Center. Attending the clubhouse provides structure to Joe's day, teaches him daily living skills and, by his being around others, encourages him to speak more. We have covered the cost of Joe's participation in the program 3 days a week for 3 months and we hope that, by the end of that time, Medicare will have reviewed his request to cover the future cost of this needed program. Despite his difficulties walking and talking, Joe has a wonderful personality and a great sense of humor.
Derek was 16 when he was hit by a car walking to school. Derek's mom works alternate shifts in a local convenience store and Derek is often on his own. He has no friends since the accident and no real social life to speak of. His mom requested funding to get him into a fitness program with a private therapist/trainer at a local health club. This program would not only get him out of the house, but would also help to continue building up his weakening limbs. The foundation paid for a one year membership and private sessions with a certified trainer. Derek also participates in special classes of water resistant pool exercises. Derek finished his therapies and is now waiting for placement in a program to improve and evaluate his cognitive skills.
Shawn was hit by a car at age 12. His father was unable to cope with his son's brain injury and moved away soon after the accident. His mother has tried to locate Shawn's father for child support but has not been successful. Shawn and his mom moved into a home with other family members until she was able to find a job to support them. She came to us once she had a job and an apartment and requested that we fund a bed suitable for Shawn's needs, which we did. We also helped her to pay for a program offered at the local YMCA for children with disabilities, because social interaction is crucial to the TBI healing process. Children and adults who sustain brain injuries are often abandoned by friends because so many people do not understand the injury, so social activities like those in which Shawn participates at the YMCA improve Shawn's quality of life significantly.