The Brave Foundation was initiated in April 2004, by survivors of Physical Trauma, with the writing of the Brave manual for Recovery and the formation of the beginnings of a peer to peer Recovery Group - both in response to a need, experienced directly - while in Recovery.
for answers to the seemingly unanswerable, the very real, the previously unimaginable, the surreal and the practical. A need to be mentored, shown the way, given the simple explanations, understanding of alternatives - to know that there are any!
Which beneficial regimes to practice, non-beneficial ones to avoid, choices and how to make them, advice that counts when your world has instantaneously shrunk –
to a similarly small thin, white, pain infused marshmallow strip… we call a hospital bed.
In other words, the insight and support only those 'ordinary people' who successfully overcome the 'extra ordinary', the very same seemingly insurmountable challenges. Those skilled in ‘Zen and the art of real time Re-incarnation, Reality, Real Pain and very Real Fear management’… we could say “those who had walked in our shoes” but when you don’t know if you need any it isn’t that funny –
We needed a physical, emotional, and spiritual framework on which to build a new character, a new body, a new life and future. A framework by those who have not only ‘survived’ but built better, more productive and positive new lives of their own… irrespective of any prognosis or disability. We needed to learn to be Brave…
from the Brave.
and we weren't the only ones -
each year in South Africa alone, around two million - that’s 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 people go through ICU or trauma wards, around 500 000 don’t make it back out. Only a small percentage are permanently disabled… Around 50 000 globally a year find themselves in long term wheelchair warrior mode the rest, yep, that’s us and another million or so like us, face a long Recovery Road, alone. The average Recovery from serious physical Trauma is at best two years, usually around seven.
We also face this road with bosses/ best friends/ boyfriends/ communities/ medical aids - who aren’t that patient! No additional income, no grants, no counseling, no extra funding, no home help, no tribe rallying around… And in case you're wondering, we had the full deck of cards, the delux “go ahead we dare you, try suburban base jumping you can’t scare us” full extreme exec package! Yes, like you we were the big fish, high flyers… perfect jobs, perfect lives, perfect cars, perfect bonds, perfectly perfect…. crash landing! It afforded us average stays of three days to three weeks in a private hospital, sixteen physio visits, a legal drug allowance for six months or so then it was adios.
Still we needed:
Support, lots of therapy, and therapies, lots of help, and lots of helpers, massage, meditation and money to buy it! Movement, methods for moving, inversion, nutrition, new legs, new catheters, better wheelchairs, better biopsies, better to get better, some one to take the dog for a walk, some one to talk to at 3am, some one to talk for us, that special op, that not so special but very, very special chance to see one more sunset…
And so, being terrified but Brave, a few resignations, redeemed share certificates and a house sold later, we found a real home in BoKaap, Cape Town, the Mother City of Africa, made it Brave Warrior and wheelchair friendly and miraculously made it to this, our third year! Just one little miracle (amongst the hundreds of big ones that are our warriors) a truly NON-PROFIT group without any additional income from any external source at present -
empowering over 500 People & their families during their Recovery
people Just like YOU,
to tap into raw courage.