Do you know what today is?
Chances are, no. And, I wouldn’t have either, until it was about something that actually affected my family. The green ribbons are not for St. Paddy’s Day, no, today, March 12, is National Brain Injury Awareness Day. Many of you know that my little sister, Rebecca, was hit by a car around Christmas in 2012. She had pretty severe brain hemorrhaging, and was in a coma for 2 weeks. Against all odds, she pulled through. But brain injuries aren’t something like a broken arm, that will heal and be as good as new. It leaves the person with a TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury.
TBIs are a different kind of wound, because they are invisible to the naked eye. Because we can’t see them, we often assume nothing is wrong, or that the person is all better. Most of the symptoms of a TBI are hard to understand for a lot of people. Of course we can wrap our minds around the fact that they often cause memory loss, but behavioral, social, and emotional effects are misunderstood much of the time. And it’s not just you and me, “regular people,” who misunderstand brain injuries, even doctors who have studied them for years find them unpredictable—no two are alike.
I think it’s unbelievably important that more people know what today is (and actually, all of March is Brain Injury Awareness Month), not only to better understand those with TBIs or other brain injuries, but to prepare themselves for something like this happening to a loved one or themselves. TBIs don’t just happen in terrible accidents like my sister’s, they can happen anytime a person gets a concussion, whether that be from playing sports, or a simple fall. TBIs can literally happen to anyone—they do not discriminate. I’m extremely passionate about the dissemination of TBI information because this is something that rocked my family to its very core. I wish we had known more about TBIs and brain injuries from the beginning, but we had (have) to kind of navigate this thing blindly.
But, on a more upbeat note, these cupcakes are awesome, and I’m so happy to have them as the poster sweets for my TBI message! The recipe (which I did slightly adapt) comes from the cookbook of my all-time favorite cupcake shop—Trophy Cupcakes.
They are everything a cupcake should be. The have that slightly sugared outer crust, and the most tender crumb. The buttercream melts in your mouth. I used marzipan to shape the ribbons because I think it tastes better than fondant, plus, who doesn’t like vanilla and almond together?
I hope you will enjoy these cupcakes, and please, share the message with someone this month. Remind them (or inform them) that March is not only Women’s History Month (which is also super important), but it’s also Brain Injury Awareness Month. If you feel like doing a bit of research, the Wikipedia page is a great place to start. If you want to make a donation towards research, care, and the spread of awareness, you can do so online through The Brain Injury Association of America, or The Brain Trauma Foundation.
Oh, and here’s a photo of my beautiful, strong, and amazing sister, Rebecca, on the day she finally got home from the hospital: