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Shelley Osterloh ReportingA woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a child is now traveling cross-country on bike to promote awareness and prevention of brain injuries.
Lee Anne Barry was just five when a car hit her as she tried to cross a busy street in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was a in a coma for days, and when she woke up she couldn't walk or talk.
Lee Anne Barry: "Back then you know, the early 70's, there was nothing for brain injury."
After years of therapy and multiple surgeries she discovered a love for bicycling. Now she and her husband Ben are traveling the country for their cause called the ‘Big Ride’.
Each year 1.5 million Americans suffer brain injuries. It's the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults.
Lee Anne Barry: "And you never hear about it. There's no media coverage, nothing to say that this is national problem."
So on August 29th the Barry's set out from Portland Oregon to encourage safety, raise money for local Brain Injury Associations and give hope to brain injury victims.
Ben Barry: "We like to encourage people to be safe and wear their helmets and the seat belts. "
Lee Anne Barry: " I hope to do is to encourage everybody in recovery that there is hope. And not to give up hope because it is so easy to get caught up in the depression and just to spiral downwards. Well let’s spiral upward, let’s move on."
Lee Anne Barry will move on to dozens of cities, peddling her message of hope, support and prevention of head injuries. She is a woman who has overcome her own disabilities to inspire others. The Barrys plan to wind up their trip on October 22 in Florida.