March focuses on brain awareness

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2012

March has been proclaimed Brain Awareness Month in Pike County by Probate Judge Wes Allen.

Allen signed the proclamation Wednesday afternoon while members of the Pilot Club of Troy watched.

“It’s a real pleasure for me to do this,” Allen told the women present.

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Pilot Clubs are service organizations that support the focus of Pilot International: brain safety, brain research and assistance to those with brain-related disorders, chemical dependency, traumatic brain injuries, brain cancer, autism and other developmental, emotional and mental disabilities.

Locally, the Pilot Club has contributed to the community through donations, such as the ones they made to the Miracle Field, and educational programs.

In 2000, Pilot International developed a signature project called “BrainMinders” that focuses on traumatic brain injury and brain disorders. The public service campaign is designed to promote prevention of brain trauma in both children and adults.

“We go into schools and present the program to elementary school children,” said local club President Mary Wadowick.

Carolyn Barron, who heads up club operations, explained that members use puppets such as the “Wise Old Owl,” “Martin Monkey,” and “Penny Panda” to promote safe living habits. Kids learn about seatbelt safety, the proper way to cross the street and how to play the smart way.

“We want to make the local area aware that a lot of these brain injuries are preventable,” Wadowick said.

On March 5, the Pilot Club will co-sponsor an event at Troy University featuring Sean Carter, a survivor of a drunk driving vehicle crash that left him unable to walk or speak.

Carter was a student at Midwestern State University majoring in Business Administration in 2005 when he got into a truck driven by a friend who was drunk. The truck Carter was riding in slammed – passenger side – into a tree. Sean suffered multiple fractures, internal injuries and a traumatic brain injury.

He now travels the country as a motivational speaker, reaching out to his audience through the help of a computer-generated voice.

“They didn’t think he would come out of his coma,” said Pilot Club Vice President Carolyn Cobb. “His message is inspirational.”

Barron added that Carter’s visit to Troy couldn’t come at a better time with area proms and spring fraternity and sorority parties coming up.

Area schools will bus in juniors and seniors to Troy University for Carter’s talk. University students are also encouraged to attend.