Wear Your Badge

When you look at this person what do you see?

He could be anyone.


Eloquent and intelligent, demanding the room when he speaks; well educated with a remarkable talent for music; a college and university graduate; a business owner?

He could have a passion for computers or reading, love animals, or enjoy imported beer and fine wine.

The possibilities are endless.


When you look at this person what do you see?

Is your reaction different?

What is this person’s education, intelligence, taste in wine?

Where does this person live or do for a living?

How do you feel towards this picture?


I see the same person.

This is my brother.

In both photos.

The same perfectly eloquent, intelligent, tremendously educated person that I admire.

Who has made me so very proud.

After falling 30 feet from a roof before Christmas my brother suffered a severe concussion. He experienced excruciating headaches, sensitivity to light, and was confused when spoken to.  Long conversations were too much and he became exhausted quickly.

And this still occurs on a regular basis.

He has to wear two pairs of sunglasses to go outside, a hat, and sometimes ear plugs.

Small tasks take longer for him to complete, he forgets people’s names, and words that come easily to us are a struggle for him to remember.

There have been tests, scans, and specialists. Weeks spent in the dark surrounded by silence.

His brain is healing but it’s taking time.

He is easing back into life, slowly taking on tasks that he once did swiftly and without thought, and adjusting to his new routine.

Throughout it all he has had the unwavering support of his Wife (who I adore) and his new best friend Lucy, a puppy they adopted to help with his recovery.

It’s been a long road.

And he has a few more hills to climb.

But through it all?

He’s remained optimistic and grateful for everyday as he embraces the world around him.

I share with you my brother’s story because I want you to feel the impact just as I did.

I want you to remember him when you walk down the street and idly judge another person for the way they look.

Because we all do it.

I want you to take head injuries seriously.

My brother wears his beard to show the world that he is not himself. His brain injury cannot be seen from the outside so he did something drastic to show that he is fighting.

And I want you to know you are not alone in your struggles, each and every one of us is fighting our own battles. Don’t hide your fight or your pain, show the world your badge of honour and shout to the world that you are a warrior!

Lean on friends and family, ask for help, and keep climbing.

Show your badge

And wear it proudly!




Thank you Adam.

I love you

I admire you

You mean more to me than you will ever know

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47 Responses to Wear Your Badge
  1. Alison@Mama Wants This
    April 27, 2012 | 5:18 am

    Oh Leighann, this made me cry. You’re absolutely right, we do judge people by how they look, not giving them an opportunity to shine through as who they are on the inside.

    I’m so sorry for your brother’s accident but am am glad to hear he’s on his way to recovery. My thoughts are with you and him. xo

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 6, 2012 | 8:46 pm

      Thank you alison! I’m confident he will be ok.

  2. Galit Breen
    April 27, 2012 | 6:46 am

    Oh my, you – this is so very poignant, and so very important.

    (I’m so sorry about all of this. He’s lucky to have so much love around him, he’s lucky to have you!)

  3. Imperfectmomma
    April 27, 2012 | 6:49 am

    Beautiful. Love this. No words except you are absolutely right

  4. Jenny
    April 27, 2012 | 6:55 am

    I am guilty of judging people by their appearance. I never thought of a beard as a way to show the world you are not yourself. Thought provoking post.
    So glad your brother is recovering. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

  5. Dana K
    April 27, 2012 | 6:57 am

    I remember reading once the estimated numbers of homeless people who were living with undiagnised or untreated bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or military vets with PTSD.

    It really woke me up…especially after my own “official” mental health diagnosis.

    He or she is someone’s son, daughter, mom, dad, brother, sister, &/or friend. The difference is I have treatment and support available to me and was able to take advantage of it.

    I hope your brother continues to heal.

  6. Kir
    April 27, 2012 | 10:55 am

    this is gorgeous and heartbreaking, I just want to hug you for sharing his story with us and reminding us that we can’t always judge a person on a first look, a lifetime of judgements.

    you know I know you feel this way about PPD and depression, I feel this way about infertility and fibromyalgia…just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not real to me, doesn’t mean it isn’t changing my life and affecting my day to day.

    I am praying for a full recovery for your brother and more understanding from all of us as a world for everyone’s journey. xoxoxo

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:19 pm

      I love that you are an advocate for the things you are passionate about, just as I am.
      I love that you speak out.
      Thank you for your love and support… you’re always there!

  7. Jessica
    April 27, 2012 | 12:15 pm

    Wow, such a powerful post and I can’t imagine all your brother has been through. It sounds like he has such amazing support from all of you. And it is such an great lesson to share, that everyone is carrying something, some much more than others, and what they appear to be from the outside is not who they are on the inside.

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:17 pm

      That’s exactly right!
      Everyone is carrying something, we have no idea what.

  8. Teresa
    April 27, 2012 | 1:14 pm

    The accident happened just this past winter? Thanks for sharing his story. My aunt lost her husband when he fell from a roof a few years ago. It’s so awful when these things happen. I’m hoping for his recovery and he is blessed to have a loving and caring sister like you.

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:17 pm

      Yes, it happened just before Christmas. Thank you for your sweet comment.

  9. Rach (DonutsMama)
    April 27, 2012 | 1:43 pm

    Leighann, I have to tell you that through blogging, I’ve become less judgmental and more open to differences than I was before in my little bubble down here. And today you demonstrated why. Thank you for sharing your brother’s story and reminding us to love first and not jump to conclusions. I pray for healing for him.

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:16 pm

      What a wonderful comment Rach.
      I’m humbled.

  10. Jen {at} take2mommy
    April 27, 2012 | 3:29 pm

    I’m so sorry about your bother’s accident. But I love how you turned this post into a rallying cry for any and all of us who’ve gone through something tough. Really wonderful post.

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:15 pm

      thanks Jen! I want to help my brother but don’t know how, this was what I could think of.

  11. frelle
    April 27, 2012 | 3:48 pm

    this was a beautiful post, and Im so glad to learn more about you, your brother, your family, and how you both share such great determination and authenticity. *HUG*

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:14 pm

      Thank you for your sweet comment girl!!

  12. Andrea
    April 27, 2012 | 7:44 pm

    I’m with Jenny. I know so many people with beards I wouldn’t have thought of it in a way that he’s using it – but I find that to be incredible. Open and honest. Raw and real. I hope your brother continues to heal and find himself. The puppy sounds wonderful! As does his wife. 🙂 {{hugs}}

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:14 pm

      Thank you Andrea! His wife is wonderful, you’re right. I also wouldn’t have thought about the beard like but i’ll think about it differently now when I see one.

  13. Co-Pilot Mom
    April 27, 2012 | 8:19 pm

    This is beautiful. So moving and true – something to bear in mind before we form expectations of others based on appearances. I wish your brother continued healing.

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:12 pm

      I’m guilty of it too.. however, I know stop and remind myself not to be so hard on people; I don’t know their story.

  14. Marianna Annadanna
    April 28, 2012 | 9:45 am

    What a beautiful post. Your brother seems very strong and resilient and wish him all the best in his recovery. I wear my Depression badge and refuse to be ashamed. Thanks for reminding me.

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:11 pm

      I’m so glad that you wear your badge! You are helping others who need inspiration and encouragement!

  15. Nic
    April 28, 2012 | 12:54 pm

    So yesterday I tried to read all of this but couldn’t because it made me teary! Today I read it all! And cried! Because I’m proud of you for sharing Adams climb to the top! Brain Injuries take time and recovery is long- I’m glad Adam has such an amazing support family! It’s amazing he is using this to reach out to others!!! Such a strong incredible person! I feel privileged to have met Adam at your Baby Shower and you are very correct in your description of him!!! Amazing man!!!! Amazing!!!
    Nic xoxo

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:09 pm

      I know that you understand brain injuries and the difficulties that the person affected experience.
      Thank you for your support!! xo

  16. Amber
    April 28, 2012 | 1:08 pm

    When I looked at the first photo I thought “Has to be related to you.” This was a beautiful post about your brother. It takes time to heal and it’s wonderful that you are there to love and support him.

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:09 pm

      you’re the second person to say that. I really didn’t know that my brother and I look that much alike. Thank you for saying that, I love that we look alike, it’s so nice to hear.

  17. Mom Photographer
    April 28, 2012 | 8:37 pm

    He is such a lucky guy he’s got a sister like you! Beautiful and moving post. You’re so right that we all judge people for what they look like and it’s not right… .
    Warm thoughts!

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:08 pm

      Thank you! And thank you for your sweet words about my post.
      My brother is wonderful and I feel helpless right now. Writing about him was the least I could do.

      • Mom Photographer
        May 5, 2012 | 11:34 pm

        it’s always good to get it out… if writing is a way for you, that’s good.

  18. The Pepperrific Life
    April 28, 2012 | 8:39 pm

    I have to admit that I almost always judge people by the way they look. Reading your post now, I feel ashamed of myself. Thanks for the nudge :). I will always keep this in mind, really…

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:07 pm

      What a wonderful comment, such a compliment.
      I’m so glad that it made an impact on you.

  19. Robin @ Farewell, Stranger
    April 29, 2012 | 6:53 pm

    When I saw the first photo I saw you, so this is all the more poignant because I know what you mean about judging (or being judged) on looks. What a powerful way to make that point.

    Good luck to him and to your whole family. You’ve got good fellow fighters in each other.

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:06 pm

      Thank you so much Robin.
      My brother is still frighting and he’s not a quitter! xo

  20. Carri
    April 29, 2012 | 8:42 pm

    I have two friends who’ve suffered major head trauma, and a boyfriend who died from it.
    It makes me feel so sad to see who my friends have become because that’s just not them. Both were in comas for quite some time. Brain injuries are no joke. I hope your brother is able to make a full recovery!

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 9:04 pm

      Thank you Carri. You’re right, they aren’t a joke. It’s frightening how little information there is on head trauma.

  21. Kimberly
    April 29, 2012 | 10:31 pm

    This was so powerful. Healing takes time, and he is so lucky to have the love and support from you and your family. Best of luck to all of you as you go through this.

  22. Jessica
    April 30, 2012 | 12:40 am

    Your brother is a fighter, just like you.

  23. Leigh Ann
    May 1, 2012 | 12:14 am

    What a blessing that he is still here with you and how wonderful a support system you are.

    I think nothing odd about that 2nd photo. Commonplace look here in Austin. 😉

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 3, 2012 | 9:12 pm

      They have beards in THAT heat?
      I can’t even imagine having the hair on my head!

  24. Lady Jennie
    May 1, 2012 | 1:54 am

    How am I just finding you now? I’ve seen you on twitter, but this time followed you over from Kimberly’s place.

    I suffered a head trauma almost 20 years ago (I was hit by a taxi in NY) and have been treated for depression almost continually since. My road was easier, some confusion and memory loss, but mainly depression (which is treatable). Yes Adam – keep up the good fight! I went from not being able to count backwards to scoring fairly well on logic in my GRE’s.

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 3, 2012 | 9:11 pm

      Thank you SO MUCH for this comment! It made me feel relief so I can only imagine what it must have felt like for my brother to read it. Thanks again!!

  25. Michelle
    May 4, 2012 | 7:29 am

    Thank you for this post Leighann – Adam told me that you had written about his story but I didn’t know what to expect when I read it. Despite having lived through this with him, and having told this story to many family, friends and Dr.s, I was still shocked and crying (balling, really)re-reading the reality of our situation.
    Thank you for all of your love, support and advocacy.

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 5, 2012 | 8:54 pm

      I’m so flattered that you liked it. I am so grateful for you and for how much you love my brother. Thank you for being there for him through every step of this. Your love for him shows.
      I love you.

  26. Mom
    May 10, 2012 | 10:56 am

    I still cannot read this without tears falling down my face. I love all three of you and it hurts me so much to know the pain this injury has caused.
    Leighann, only you could find the perfect words to get this important message out there concerning head trauma injuries.
    I am so touched and proud of you for showing me another way to look at the lives of those around me.

    • multitaskingmumma
      May 10, 2012 | 9:31 pm

      Thank you mom! Your comment fills my heart xo

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