DALLAS (May 24, 2005) — A concert pianist, unable to walk or talk as a result of a stroke, will stand alongside a mom and her brain-injured son. A retired navy admiral with early-onset dementia will flank a young eight-year-old struggling to speak and remember in the aftermath of a terrible accident in which a truck knocked him from his bicycle.
All four of the above victims have begun to recover from severe brain disorders, thanks to The University of Texas at Dallas’ much-acclaimed Center for BrainHealth. And on Saturday, June 4, they and other clients of the center will lift silver shovels together for a single cause. The participants and their families will symbolically break ground for the center’s $13.7-million new home. They will encircle a soon-to-be-renovated, refurbished, restored and greatly expanded building at 2200 Mockingbird Lane and, in wave-like fashion, take turns scooping dirt for the center that has given them the hope to live better lives and the courage to confront sometimes devastating brain illnesses and injuries.
All of the participants are learning at the Center for BrainHealth to manage and live with brain injuries, strokes or dementia, as are their caregivers and family members.
Dr. Sandra Chapman, executive director of the center, will give a brief talk at the ceremony, and a plaque inscribed with all groundbreakers’ names will be placed at the new site. The Center for BrainHealth currently is housed at UTD’s Callier Center for Communications Disorders on Inwood Road in Dallas.
The new facility, which is expected to attract world-renowned scientific faculty and consultants, will oversee approximately 100 ongoing research projects. Chapman said the hope is that that work will produce neuroscience breakthroughs into new clinical treatments for both children and adults and will lead the way in providing information and treatment for healthy aging.
The new Center for BrainHealth home, which is expected to be ready for occupancy a year from now, has been made possible by private donations from Dianne Cash, Sallie and Frederic B. (“Tex”) Asche, Jr., Dee and Charles Wyly, Caren Protho, Jean Ann and Steve Brock, Claudia and Jerry Stool along with contribution from hundreds of other donors and funds from UTD. The center also has attracted gifts from several out-of-state and national foundations. Contributions are still needed, however, to complete the building project and provide support for the center’s on-going research and treatment programs.
The center’s brain intervention programs and innovative therapies have shown unusual success in optimizing brain and mental function for its clients, in spite of the type of brain diseases or injury.
Larry Riser Sr., father of the eight-year-old bicycle accident victim mentioned above, Larry Riser Jr., will be among those telling their families’ stories at the groundbreaking ceremony. Mr. Riser will tell how the center helped his son restore much of his brain function.
“We were blind,” says Larry Sr., “but now we see.”
About the Center for BrainHealth
The Center for BrainHealth integrates research, treatment, academic training and community outreach and is one of the few facilities in the United States to provide continued follow-up to enhance and monitor functional recovery in children and adults with brain injury, brain disease and complications of normal aging. Through this innovative approach, the center is discovering commonalities across brain maladies that are yielding similarities in brain repair mechanisms and resulting in new treatments for improving life for patients with brain injuries and diseases. One of the center’s top priorities is achieving healthy mental aging by translating scientific findings into treatment. For more information about the Center for BrainHealth and its work, please visit the organization’s web site www.centerforbrainhealth.org.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.