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Brain Bonanza For Kids at Shelby City Park, Sat. March 31st
Allen White stands by the tree he hit on September 3, 2004. The ribbon is a marker for the “Ride For The Mind” motorcycle event.
The  Fourth Annual “Ride For The Mind” and the Seventh Annual “Brain Bonanza For Kids” will take place on Saturday, March 31, from 10 am to 3 pm. Combined, the events are all about raising awareness of traumatic brain injuries. This year’s Co-Chairpersons are Tammy Chapman and Chris Hundley.  Both are parents of brain injured young men who somehow survived horrific accidents.
Here are their awe inspiring stories.
For the Hundleys, the day was Thursday, May 14, 1998. Their son Brian was sixteen years old and had just got his driver’s license the preceding October. He was on the way home from Hardee’s after getting breakfast. What happened on that fateful trip changed a lot of lives. While driving, Brian had an aneurysm, an AVM (Arterial Venous Mass). It caused him to lose control, accelerate to 75 miles per hour and impact an oak tree. He was rendered unconscious and was breathing less than six times a minute. It took EMS teams two and a half hours to free him from the wreckage. No one believed he would make it to the hospital. However, he did make it. Brian was in a coma for two and a half months and was hospitalized from May until September. That was fourteen years ago. Today, slowly, ever so slowly Brian Hundley improves. The day of the accident a nurse at the hospital gave Brian’s dad, Chris, a pin that said “We Believe In Miracles!”. He has worn that every day and has signs in front of his business and home that proclaim the same. Presently, Brian has limited use of his right arm and struggles with his speech and short-term memory. He works out two days a week at the gym and continues to improve himself. He is an inspiration and a blessing to know and be around. His parents feel God has a special plan for Brian. He’s alive today and is truly a miracle son!
On Thursday, September 2, 2004, Allen White, a nineteen year old young man, was on his motorcycle. He was traveling on Old Boiling Springs Road. The road was wet as a result of Hurricane Charlie. All of a sudden Allen’s bike slid and went out of control, hit a tree and was thrown 40 feet. All his ribs were broken, his brain was impacted twice and his lungs collapsed. The first diagnosis was the accident would be fatal. His mother, Tammy, was told that “he would not see the sun rise.” However, as Tammy says: “God decided that it wasn’t Allen’s time.” He was in a coma for 30 days on an oscillator. Outside his hospital room, the organ transplant team was standing by, but were never needed. The young man was then moved to intensive care for two weeks and then rehab for a month. Allen often wonders why God let him live. He goes back to the tree, that almost claimed his life, every year and etches a new date on it. He suffers from stress and short term memory loss, yet, he is now living on his own and is a student at Cleveland Community College. He has finished a welding course and continues his education. His mother, Tammy, will give you one word that embraces her philosophy of the situation - “Believe”!
Carolyn Costner started a support group for TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) survivors and their families after her son, Nathan, was injured during a church outing. It was through this group that Chris Hundley and Tammy Chapman met. As this year’s Co-Chairpersons of the “Brain Bonanza For Kids” at Shelby City Park, they encourage parents to bring out their children, regardless of age. The kids will be fitted and receive a free helmet. The “Ride For The Mind” motorcycle event will also take place the same day. “Spongebob” and “Truman” the Kidsville News Dragon will be there along with free train and carousel rides for all participants. There will be bouncy houses, slides, a magician, balloons, puppeteers, a petting zoo and face painting. In case of rain, the event will be moved inside the Shelby City Park gym. The most important thing are the helmets. The Co-Chairpersons, Tammy and Chris,  say it all: “It it saves just one life or prevents just one traumatic brain injury - it’s all worth it.” The event will coincide with the Park’s annual Easter Egg Hunt, weather permitting.

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