If you know anything about soccer, you’ve probably heard of Taylor Twellman before. The former Major Leaguer’s all-star career was cut short, when he had to retire due to complications from multiple concussions. While he’s still very much a part of the soccer world – announcing for ESPN and providing resources and tools to players and coaches – Taylor is also working to make a difference in the world, using his own injuries as inspiration. The ThinkTaylor Foundation is an educational organization dedicated to raising awareness on Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).
Concussions have been a common problem for many athletes in sports, including and especially soccer. The ThinkTaylor Foundation’s mission, according to its website, is to “create social change in the world of Traumatic Brain Injuries, by generating increased awareness, recognition, and education.” As we learn more about concussions, we have come to see the seriousness that TBI’s can have on a person’s health and on a person’s life. Twellman, for instance, suffered a concussion in 2008 that ended his professional soccer career.
Not only did the concussion end Twellman’s career, but it has completely altered his life. For years since 2008, Twellman has suffered from post-concussion syndrome (PCS), symptoms that occur after concussion diagnosis, such as dizziness and headaches. This is a commonality for many athletes who have experienced Traumatic Brain Injury.
Unfortunately, it’s not just the athlete that suffers. When friends and family cannot visibly see an athlete’s injury, it makes it difficult to assess the pain that the athlete is experiencing. The ThinkTaylor Foundation is determined to not only educate and advocate for those who endure TBI’s, but to also provide support and compassion to the athletes and families directly affected by the injury.
Concussions, as we have come to find out through sciences and through awareness programs like ThinkTaylor, are incredibly serious injuries. The organization reminds athletes to know the symptoms and to recover fully before returning to the game. It’s important to seek proper treatment if you have experienced any forceful contact to the head and are experiencing any concussive symptoms.