Pulling from personal injury, teen advocates for brain injury aw - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Pulling from personal injury, teen advocates for brain injury awareness

Nick Ventura and his father, Brian Nick Ventura and his father, Brian

A St. Ignatius High School sophomore is playing a key role during Brain Injury Awareness Month and advocating for helmet safety.

Nick Ventura's passionate involvement in brain injury advocacy is born out of his first-hand experience. While in 7th grade, the teen suffered a traumatic brain injury while on a snowboarding trip with friends in New York. Nick had to undergo emergency brain surgery and spent 14 days in a coma and nearly six weeks in the pediatric intensive care unit. Coming out of a coma, he had to relearn everything from talking to walking, and feeding himself. At the time of his accident, Nick was wearing a helmet, which likely saved his life.

This year, Nick and his family founded 11 Foundation, the state's only nonprofit organization working to help support families financially while recovering from a traumatic brain injury. As an active member of 11 Foundation, he sits on their board to help with fundraising, is involved with community outreach, and visits with families in the hospital who have been affected by a brain injury.

The 11 Foundation is holding its inaugural gala event, "The Journey Back", which will be held in March during Brain Injury Awareness Month on Saturday, March 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The 11 Foundation, along with its key sponsors, will present the "Nick Ventura Determination Award" to two young brain injury survivors. The Gala proceeds will provide financial assistance toward the family's share of the cost of medical services and incidentals during the rehabilitation phase of recovery.

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