Lakewood Teen Advocates For Brain Injury Awareness

Lakewood resident, Nick Ventura, a sophomore at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, has been playing a key role during Brain Injury Awareness Month and advocating for helmet safety the last few years. March is recognized as Brain Injury Awareness month and Nick’s passionate involvement in brain injury advocacy is born out of his first-hand experience of the devastation that a traumatic brain injury can inflict. While in 7th grade, he suffered a traumatic brain injury while on a snowboarding trip with friends in Ellicottville, NY on February 19, 2011. Nick had to undergo emergency brain surgery and spent 14 days in a coma and nearly six weeks in the pediatric intensive care unit. Coming out of a coma, he had to relearn everything from talking to walking, and feeding himself. At the time of his accident, Nick was wearing a helmet and this likely saved his life.

Since rebuilding his life, Nick has become a passionate advocate for brain injury awareness and helmet safety and has given speeches at schools about his experience. In 2014, filled with a desire to make an even greater impact, his family founded 11 Foundation, the state’s only nonprofit organization working to help support families financially while a family member is recovering from a traumatic brain injury. As an active member of 11 Foundation, he sits on their board to help with fundraising, is involved with community outreach, and visits with families in the hospital who have been affected by a brain injury.

The 11 Foundation is holding its first inaugural gala event, “The Journey Back,” which will be held in March during Brain Injury Awareness Month on Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. The 11 Foundation, along with its key sponsors, will present the “Nick Ventura Determination Award” to two young brain injury survivors. This prestigious award will be given to Noah Venesile of Avon Lake, Ohio and Jake Miller of Blasdell, NY. Both honorees will also be presented with the Ohio Governor’s Proclamation for the “Nick Ventura Determination Award.” The Gala proceeds will provide financial assistance toward the family's share of the cost of medical services and incidentals during the rehabilitation phase of recovery. Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury and their families face very complex financial issues. Life changes instantly when someone experiences a traumatic brain injury, and the first thoughts and actions are focused on the patient, their survival and recovery. But with treatment comes costs and the 11 Foundation would like to help make a difference.

For more information about Nick Ventura and the “The Journey Back” Gala Event please visit:

Michael Rice

My name is Michael Rice, I am the Public Relations Director of 11 Foundation, a nonprofit located in Lakewood, Ohio. The mission of the 11 Foundation is to identify and support those families who are looking for resources, guidance, and financial assistance during the rehabilitation phase of pediatric brain injury recovery.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 8:46 PM, 03.04.2014