Stories from the brainreels: Guest David Kracke

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If I learned one thing in the past few years, I don’t remember what it was. Just kidding. Start over.

If I learned one thing in the past few years it’s that we don’t always meet all of our needs when we only stick with people with the same medical diagnosis. Lots of times, folks with brain injury are told that no one can get us except for one of us. So we stick close to one another. When we do that too much, we miss out on sharing with all sorts of people who have a lot to give and a lot to get from us. That’s why I spend so much time and effort with the local Disability arts and culture folks with Disability Art and Culture Project, Impetus Arts, and Caitlin Wood.

It also explains how I formed an unlikely friendship with a personal injury lawyer, David Kracke. I wasn’t even allowed to try out for my high school’s mediocre debate team. So I didn’t think I could ever speak intelligently enough to hang out with a lawyer (who by the way, wasn’t on his high school debate team either, if my memory serves). Now I spend a lot of time chatting on the phone and over email with this lawyer. He’s not my lawyer. I’ve never chatted with him as his client or because I had to.

I sometimes think to myself, “how did I become friends with someone like that?” Well, maybe there’s not a lot of truth to the idea of “someone like that.” Maybe working past names and titles and labels and diagnoses is really what we should do more often. Isn’t that what we ask people to do for us? To treat us like individual people, not brain injuries?

The plan is to interview Dave on “Stories from the brainreels” tomorrow, August 2nd at 1:00 pm. I say it’s the plan. So far, in our planning conversations, we try to talk about brain injury legislation, serving people with brain injury in lawsuits, advocacy, and how a bill becomes a law (beyond the Schoolhouse Rock description). But we end up talking about poetry and comedy instead. Or whether the WHO is a famous rock band or the World Health Organization, which lists all the diagnoses I currently have.

Dave is a personal injury lawyer specializing in brain injury, a champion advocate, columnist for The Headliner, Adviser to the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon, kayaker, and a few others things that actually don’t relate to brain injury. If you need a lawyer and want to know if he can work with you, please call him at (503) 224-3018. I’m not on his marketing team. I only want people to recognize the importance of working with a lawyer who understands brain injury so well.

Listen to the conversation Friday, August 2nd at 1:00 pm Pacific Standard Time or anytime after that.

Click on this sentence for an accessible transcript of podcast episodes #006 and 007.