"Perhaps something here will be helpful to you.  I wish you well on your journey."

Nancy Smith Worthen, Maggie's mom

 Brain Injury Support Groups/ Agencies

Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island, Cranston, RI
The mission of the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island is to prevent brain injury and to enhance the lives of those affected by brain injury. Our membership includes brain injury survivors, their families and friends, health-care professionals, physicians, providers of brain injury rehabilitation, and other advocates.  Our website is
Survivor Support Group: Third Wednesday of the month, at our office on 935 Park Avenue, Cranston, RI, 6:30pm
Caregiver Support Group: First Monday of the month, at office, 7pm
Additional groups are listed at the website.

Brain Injury Association of America

The mission of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is to advance brain injury prevention, research, treatment and education and to improve the quality of life for all people affected by brain injury. We are dedicated to increasing access to quality health care and raising awareness and understanding of brain injury. With a network of state affiliates, local chapters and support groups, we are the voice of brain injury.  Our website is

Caringbridge, the story of the founder

In 1997, good friends of mine had a pre-mature baby. They asked me to let everyone know what was happening. Instead of making emotional and time draining phone calls, I created a website. In fact, the same night their baby Brighid was born the first CaringBridge site was started.

CaringBridge instantly became a connection point in ways that were extremely personal and powerful for everyone. The site allowed family members to communicate information to a wide circle of people. They posted daily journal entries and the guestbook enabled visitors to send the family messages of love and encouragement.

It was obvious that CaringBridge could help any family going through a health event - not only by letting everyone know what was happening but by bringing that loving, supportive community together. CaringBridge could let them be there without the barrier of when, where and how. It's vital that anyone going through any type of health event knows about CaringBridge.

Our nonprofit services are free for anyone in need thanks to individuals and families who donate. Today, we offer both our signature Sites and SupportPlanner. Almost everyone, right now, knows someone in their life that would benefit from CaringBridge. Share it with someone you love today.  For more information, contact

Brain and Spinal
Whenever a person or family is suddenly confronted with the world-changing experience of a catastrophic spinal cord injury or brain injury, there are a host of questions but seemingly few solid answers. These questions involve a wide spectrum of issues: health, rehabilitation, hope for recovery, current research, financial, legal, and the list goes on.

Medical providers are often reluctant to give too much information based upon a legitimate concern of giving false hope. Providers are also pressed for time, making it logistically difficult for them to spend time with a new brain injury or spinal cord injury survivors and their families answering questions in detail. Moreover, there are many questions that doctors and their staff are unable to answer, including questions about pressing financial and legal issues. Support groups, government resources, and other sources of potential assistance are also difficult or impossible to easily identify.  For more information contact:

Speak Your Mind Foundation
We are a growing team of engineers, clinicians, designers, hackers, and social entrepreneurs dedicated to empowering individuals with motor and speech limitations to connect with the world. We believe that just because you can't use your voice, that doesn't mean you can't express your personality, take control of your environment – and speak your mind.  For more information contact:

Artists/ Arts Programs/ Art Therapy

Resources for Human Development, Pawtucket, RI
RHD Rhode Island is a day program that serves individuals with developmental disabilities. This creative, fun, intellectually stimulating, art-based day program provides family support services, community job development and supported employment services. Our website is

Gateway Arts, Somerville, Mass.
Gateway Arts is a magical place filled with colorful crafts, contemplative and whimsical paintings and over 95 talented artists with disabilities learning a vocation while realizing their dreams. This unique, non-profit service includes the Studio Program, The Gateway Crafts Store, and The Gateway Gallery.  For more information:
Jeannine Bestoso, M. Art Ed., CSOS, CDAT-R
She is a Therapeutic Arts Facilitator providing Art as Therapy through a holistic approach.  She uses Expressive Arts, Neuro-Cognitive Art Programming (this is a specific art therapy she is certified and registered in), and activities based on therapeutic theories for certain groups.  For more information:

Peace Love Studios, Pawtucket, RI
PeaceLove Studio,a creative voice for mental illness, offers a rallying cry for acceptance and solidarity through creative programs, products, and spaces that celebrate the healing power of art and community. For more information:

Art is 4 Every 1
The Art is 4 Every 1 method was developed by Elaine Griffith during the nearly 25 years she taught at nursing homes, senior centers, kids camps and in her studio. It is a method that breaks the painting process into small steps, as tiny and as simplified as is needed according to the ability and experience of the student . It is an equally useful method for those already acquainted with painting as it is a method that allows the painter to work quickly and with room for creative adjustments.  For more information:

Gratitude and Meditation Practice

Look for the Good Project
The Look for the Good Project is an ongoing community arts project organized by Anne Kubitsky.  It was inspired by a daring whale rescue which happened off the coast of California in 2005.  Since the project's 2011 inception, Anne has received so many heartfelt messages that a whole community came together to help her pay for a two-venue exhibition, she was invited to share the cards in her own newspaper column, a book happened and she unexpectedly went through a lot of healing.  That's why Anne is continuing the project adn now asking you to participate.  For more information: is a network of grateful living (ANG*L).  This network provides education and support for the practice of grateful living as a global ethic, inspired by the teaching of Brother David Steindl-Rast and colleagues.  Gratefulness - the full response to a given moment and all it contains - is a universal practice that fosters personal transformaion, cross-cultural dialogue, intergenerational respect, nonviolent conflict resolution and ecological sustainability.  For more information:

The Center for Joy
Laughter, song, dance and play are four essential ways human beings express and share joy.  This site is dedicated to the cultivation of these expressions as a conscious choice to move towards the center of our own joy, the which is our true nature.  For more information:

Joanne Friday
is a Dharma teacher in the Tiep Hien Order, the order of interbeing, founded by Buddhist Mond and Zen Master Thich Naht Hanh.  In 2003 she received authority to teach from Thich Naht Hanh, her teacher for twenty years.  She leads several sanghas(group meditation and teaching sessions) in Rhode Island and teaches at retreats around the country.  For more information:

Hospitals/ Rehabilitation Programs

Spaulding Rehabilitation Program
Remarkable recoveries happen every day at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Our dedicated team of specialists help patients get back in action as soon as possible - often with astonishing results. This facility has residential and day programs in Boston and the surrounding Massachusetts areas. For More Information: (617) 573-7000

Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital
Since 1975, Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital has gained recognition as a world-class healthcare provider dedicated to helping patients maximize functionality, mobility, and independence following illness or injury. Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital is a licensed 186-bed acute facility, which includes a 21-bed satellite hospital at Metrowest Medical Center in Natick, MA , and multiple outpatient clinics. The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and also has been awarded Disease-Specific Care Certification in its Stroke Rehabilitation and Acquired Brain Injury Programs.  For more information:
Our mission is to serve individuals and families of Massachusetts to improve their quality of life and sense of self-worth.  We are committed to providing the highest quality care, support, education, and referral services, and we do so without regard to race, creed, disability, sexual orientation, or gender.  We collaborate with others to ensure a comprehensive and effective use of resources.
For more information contact BAMSI Administration,10 Christy’s Drive, Brockton, MA 02301 Phone: 508-580-8700

People, Incorporated
is a human service agency whose mission is strengthen our community for each of our members by providing premier services for children and adults of all abilities in a collaborative and creative environment.  These services include day programs, residential services, early childhood intervention programs and more.  For more information contact People, 4 South Main Street, Fall River, Massachusetts, 508 679-5233

Special Projects

Photo Voices
Photovoices International, which provides people a way to reflect on their own lives and to talk together about what they want to protect and what they want to make better, using cameras and storytelling, the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island developed a PHOTO VOICES program in 2010 and 2011.  For more information about Maggie's participation, go to News and Events.

Brain Cafe/ Brain Storm, with Everett Dance Theatre

The Brain Café was a free series of presentations that invite audiences to engage in a dialogue at the intersections of neuroscience, medicine and the arts. The Brain Café invited audiences to share in Everett’s research and creative process as they develop BRAIN STORM, a multimedia concert that will examine new developments in brain research and the imminent neurological revolution. 

For more informaton about Maggie's participation, go to News and Events.  Website:

Books/ Movies/ Articles

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a non-fiction children's book written by author Eleanor Coerr and published in 1977.  This   true story is of a girl, Sadako Sasaki, who lived in Hiroshima at the time of the atomic bombing by the United States. She developed leukemia from the radiation and spent her time in a nursing home creating origami (folded paper) cranes in hope of making a thousand of them. She was inspired to do so by the Japanese legend that one who created a thousand origami cranes would then be granted a wish. Her wish was simply to live. However, she managed to fold only 644 cranes before she became too weak to fold any more, and died shortly after. Her friends and family helped finish her dream by folding the rest of the cranes, which were buried with Sadako. They also built a statue of Sadako holding a giant golden origami crane in Hiroshima Peace Park. 

Now every year on Obon Day, which is a holiday in Japan to remember the departed spirits of one's ancestors, thousands of people leave paper cranes near the statue. On the statue is a plaque: "This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace on Earth."

The book has been translated to many languages and published in many places, to be used for peace education programs in primary schools. Sadako's story was also dramatized at the opening ceremony of the Goodwill Games 1990 in Seattle wherein Seattle school children, working from the 644 cranes sent by Japanese schoolchildren, completed the unfinished 356 cranes for Sadako, and sent them aloft into the skies in honor of Sadako and world peace. More Info:

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
A book and movie; the true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed. More info:

A Stroke of Insight, by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor
As an "Advocate for Humanity," Dr. Jill is a compassionate motivational speaker who speaks from her heart, both as a well sibling of a brother who has been diagnosed with the brain disorder schizophrenia and as a neuroscientist who recovered her own mind from a debilitating stroke (AVM) which initially rendered her completely disabled.

Dr. Jill has dedicated her career to the advancement of research into the human brain and neurological recovery from trauma. Her passion is to educate everyone about the fragile, yet resilient nature of this incredible organ. By sharing her science and her unique personal journey, she communicates a message of hope, education, and celebration in a way that people can truly understand, and they walk away not only moved but shifted in their perception of who they are in the world and what they are doing with their power. More info:

Links - Berenberg Gallery -Creations of self-taught artists-Arlington MA - Very Special Arts - National Institute of Art and Disabilities - Raw Vision Magazine - Readings in Arts and Disabilities - Creative Growth Art Center - Intuit: Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art

Contact: Nancy Smith Worthen
401 487-9713
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