So, here's the deal - I had the incredible honor of attending the signing ceremony of Oregon Senate Bill 420. Now, you might be wondering, "Why is that such a big deal?" Well, let me explain. SB 420 is a game-changer. It's all about establishing brain injury resource navigation in our beloved state of Oregon. This bill is a lifeline for so many folks who are dealing with brain injuries, and it's been years in the making.
I wasn't just there as a casual observer, I was part of the core advocacy team; standing alongside GIANTS! These folks are unsung heroes who've been pushing for this bill for over three years. They were advocating for brain injury awareness and support long before brain injury became personal to me.
My role in this journey was testifying in favor of SB 420 in front of the House Committee on Health Care at the Capitol building in Salem. It was nerve-wracking, but totally worth overcoming the fear for this cause (bigger than myself). And I also have the privilege of being the (only) brain injury screener at three Veterans Stand Downs over the past year - a first in Oregon's history.
Now, I was told that signing ceremonies are rare and reserved for bills of real significance. During the event, Governor Kotek shared a personal story that hit home for all of us.
Her story reminded us why advocacy matters and why we should keep pushing forward, no matter the obstacles.
Of course, our minds are already racing with ideas for what's to come.
The folks in these photos are meticulously planning and anticipating the rollout of the brain injury resource navigation in Oregon. But on that day, it was important to pause, celebrate, and just soak in the gratitude.
So, I'll never forget September 28, 2023. It was a day of humility, inspiration, and the reaffirmation that together, we can make a difference in our community. There is power in your voice.
Let me explain the photo of the pen -- That pen was used to sign one of the copies of the bill. We were all given a signed copy of the bill with the Seal of Oregon to take home.
Yes, I asked Govenor Kotek for her pen, and Yes she obliged. <3