WHERE FRIENDS GATHER GREAT THINGS HAPPEN
Welcome! I am Victoria Newman, Founder of Valley Disability Support Group. As a Brain Injury Survivor, I experienced gaps in my care that I hoped no one would have to go through. Although treatment for brain injury is a slow and iterative process, I learned that if you access good quality care and a strong support system early on, you raise your chances of having better outcomes.
About midway through brain rehabilitation therapy, I was diagnosed with Stage I Breast Cancer. I had just about given up after all the suffering, trauma and drastic lifestyle changes including permanent disability due to brain injury. Fighting Breast Cancer taught me how to advocate for myself more completely, it also led me to Brain Injury Services, a true godsend.
I could see that adjusting to life with brain injury helped me cope better with my cancer diagnosis. Cancer treatment gave me the strength to let go and try to live my best life despite my brain injury and functional limitations.
I worked with Managed Care Nurses, Social Workers, Oncology Therapists, Case Managers for Brain Injury, which helped expand my team of Specialists and support who offered an abundance of information on local, state and national resources. It was the kind of support I needed but was not equipped to find on my own. I promised myself that if I made it through cancer treatment successfully, I would do my best to help close care gaps in the region by sharing helpful information that may be hard to find online and connect people in thoughtful ways - support by way of caring and like-minded peers.
With the help of my two kids, family, friends, along with encouragement from Brain Injury Association of America, Brain Rehabilitation Specialist Sylvia Whitmire, MA, LCMHC, BCB-Fellow, CCMC; Brain Injury Services; the team at VCU TBI Model Systems, and Brain Injury Association of Virginia, Valley Disability Support Group and Online Resource became a reality. My personal commitment is to raise awareness, help empower others, help each other cope, learn and grow together in the self-advocacy journey.
Come join one of our support groups and events. Share your story. Make lasting friendships. Tell your family and friends about us. We'd love to have you.
Victoria Newman, D.Div, PHD