Survivor of Traumatic Brain Injury Starts Podcast, Shares Resources, and Continues Giving Back
(Elizabeth Schanz, Aug. 19, 2022)
Madison Heights, MI – The unpredictable path through life comes with roadblocks, detours, and not always a set destination. Yet, we often overcome these challenges and develop our own path through our lives that may take us one a journey we never expected.
Jason Theodoroff has faced these twists and turns throughout his life. After an almost fatal car crash that resulted in falling into a coma for two and half months, Theordoroff survived with a traumatic brain injury which resulted in him having to learn how to re-develop basic life skills like talking and walking. Nevertheless, Theodoroff worked to rebuild in life in the face of adversity learning to not only survive with his disability, but to live his life to the fullest extent.
In the wake of these hardships, Theodoroff has been able to cultivate his passions through helping others. He currently works as a multimedia professional at TRU Design & Marketing in Berkley, Michigan and serves the City of Madison Heights on the Art Board, Parks and Recreation, Library Advisory Board, and the Environmental Services Committee.
The journey to these roles was something that Theodoroff may have never imagined before his crash. Growing up, Theodoroff wanted to work in broadcasting and was an intern at a local radio station. That crash, that he doesn’t remember, changed the trajectory of his life.
“I’m actually really grateful to have had to go through what I’ve been through because it has opened my eyes to discover that helping disabled individuals is where my heart truly is,” he said.
Theodoroff considers serving on the Madison Heights boards as some of his proudest accomplishments and emphasizes that he hopes that his engagement as a civil servant makes the city a more inclusive place. By engaging in public life, he hopes to advocate for disadvantaged individuals and improve their lives. He told Oakland County Times, “I love helping people, especially those who have been marginalized because of situations outside of their control. I think of it very reciprocally making people feel a sense of happiness makes me happy.”
Not only is he serving as a role model for those facing adversity, Theodoroff’s advocacy extends into the community as a whole where individuals can be allies through acceptance and empathy.
“I want people to stop looking at disabled as meaning unable, and think instead of what that person has overcome to get to where they are, and realize that pathway was a challenge no matter how big or small,” said Theodoroff, “Disabled people are champions and should be looked at what they have overcome instead of what they might not be able to do now.”
Theordoroff’s lifelong passion for multimedia production is not just his job but is used as a medium to express his experiences. He recently created an unpublished book entitled Survive: Overcoming Brain Injury and Cancer where he shares his own struggles with his accident and being a two time cancer survivor.
However, Theodoroff wants to share stories beyond his own, to allow people to share their own struggles and connect them to a wider audience. Recently he has started a podcast named “LIVING IN A NEW WORLD a survivor’s podcast” where he interviews individuals who have experienced head injuries and talk about their journey through rehabilitation. Other guests include health professionals who specialize in brain injury.
Theodoroff said, “The purpose of the podcast is to give the listener a first-hand insight into struggles, challenges and the feeling of accomplishment that survivors experience as they progress through their individual recovery.” If there are traumatic brain injury survivors who would like to reach out to Theodoroff to possibly share their stories, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Theodoroff continues to advocate for other disabled individuals and recommends that individuals in Michigan can check out https://www.michigan.gov/disabilityresources to find resources that will help them with multiple aspects of their lives. The website helps people to find information surrounding transportation, housing, and employment. Theodoroff hopes these resources can help fellow “survivors” get the most out of their recovery.