Concussion Victim Offers a Heads-Up to Help Others

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A local teen suffering lingering impacts from a sports-related concussion raises funds for the Brain Injury Association of America by selling wristbands.

Mitzvah Hero: West Mount Airy’s Anat Ferleger, 15, has taken it upon herself to raise funds for the Brain Injury Association of America in the hope that "people will become more aware of concussion prevention and proper care for concussion sufferers.”

What It’s All About: These traumatic brain injuries have been making headlines for the impact they’re having in school and professional sports, notably the National Football League, and Anat knows all too well what it's like to experience one. In 2013, she “sustained a severe concussion playing soccer that has forever changed my life.” 


“Even though I still deal with a 24/7 chronic migraine, memory loss, double vision, fatigue and many other symptoms, I have come to the point where I am able to slowly return to my daily routine," says the daughter of Rabbi Dayle Friedman, whose expertise in spirituality and aging threads throughout Growing Older, her Philly-based national practice; and attorney David Ferleger. 

That routine, however, is an adjusted one, that includes making time for doctors’ appointments “to regain my balance, eye movements and memory.” It also includes time to give a heads up to other kids out on the ball field, where a sudden header in soccer can mean a physical downfall. To that end, the 10th grader at Delaware Valley Friends School in Paoli has been selling bracelets bearing the inscription “Heads Up," to benefit the Brain Injury Association of America. So far, the Germantown Jewish Centre congregant has raised more than $2,000 for the organization.

“My hope is that someday everyone, especially sports coaches, will be properly educated on concussions and the proper steps to take if you suspect someone might have one,” she says. 

Not a One-Time Thing: In addition to her concussion-awareness efforts, Anat volunteers for the Friendship Circle, a Lubavitch project, “where I get to share activities and help kids with special needs.” She also helps train those served by Segs4Vets, which provides Segways to disabled veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Bookending those projects is one in which she has collected thousands of books from an area school to donate to other schools.

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