Gabby's Team of All-Star Athletes
With virtually every sport there is a team, a group of individuals who share common interests, aspirations and motives. I am creating a team of All-Star Athletes from different backgrounds, sports, and walks of life that have all been personally effected by sports injuries. This elite team of athletes will utilize the tools provided by me to properly communicate the importance of Sports Safety Education and Injury Prevention back home in their own communities. I hope to adopt many new All-Stars into this program day by day. By doing this, TOGETHER we can work to reduce the risks of injuries and level the playing field for all athletes. Through communication, education, prevention, and research we can make a difference in the lives of our peers.
Lauren Hall (age 18) - Basketball
April 6th, 2009
I was lifting weights to get ready for the spring/ summer basketball season to start when I felt a pop in my foot. I was immediately taken to Urgent Care and was misdiagnosed with a dislocation of my bones. After many months of my foot not healing, I was finally diagnosed with a torn joint between my second toe and my foot. After my first surgery in August, I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. I have had 7 nerve blocks in my spine during my Sophomore year of high school so that I could try to continue playing basketball which was my passion, my life, my everything. Every time my foot would hurt during a practice or game I would continue to tell myself to work through the pain and that it would all pay off. I now know that was my body's way of trying to tell me to stop before it got serious. However, I didn't listen. After the spinal blocks stopped working altogether, I had two more surgeries and I am now at the Integrative Pain Clinic at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. I have been going to physical therapy twice a week for three years. I can no longer play basketball and I have missed a lot of school. My life was forever changed that day but I continue to grow and try to educate my peers on empowering themselves with the knowledge of when to stop pushing themselves and when to just rest. I support Gabby's message of sports safety 100%! If we can help educate children and young adults how to play it safe, we will have fewer injuries and many more healthy athletes. I learned that day, that when your body is trying to tell you something, you need to LISTEN.
Abby Ellingson (age 17) - Soccer
During the practice before our first sections game with the varsity soccer team I received a concussion. I was hit with the ball on the back of my head, and then 30 seconds later I was hit by the goalies hand and another teammate's arm. That night, I was extremely out of it, dizzy and overwhelmed. The next day I went to see the trainer to do a few tests and was diagnosed with a concussion. I was devastated because I had to miss what happened to be our last game that night. Over the next two-and-a-half months, I was unable to run, play on my club team, focus in school, and do normal day to day activities. Lights, loud music, TV, homework, reading, and driving were just a few things that made my constant headaches worse. It took a long time to get back to my normal self. I had to get my grades back up and get in shape for club soccer. Once playing soccer again, I was simply not the same. Having had a concussion has really affected my life, and wish I was wearing protective head wear at the time. I love Gabby's decision and passion to advocate for sports safety education as well as injury prevention. The word needs to get out! If only I had known about the proper safety wear for soccer at the time, I would not have gone through such a tough battle.