Each inauguration year, the new president is met with a flurry of galas and balls to celebrate the Commander in Chief. One of those is the All American Ball, held to recognize a small number of American heroes. This year, among the recipients was Jennifer Field of Peterborough, who was recognized for her tireless striving to overcome the challenges of a traumatic brain injury, and the work she’s done since to help others to overcome their own injuries.
“I was so thrilled to be selected as one of their honorees,” wrote Field. Field had never been to an inauguration celebration before, but recieved the invitation and announcement of her award a few weeks before the scheduled swearing in of President Donald Trump, for her work with her J Field Foundation and advocacy for those with brain injuries.
In November of 1992, a 17-year-old Jennifer Field was driving home from Dublin School when she hit a patch of black ice that sent her into the path of an oncoming tractor trailer.
Field spent two months in a coma, and when she woke up, doctor’s told her mother that whatever progress she made in the first year was likely to be the extent of her recovery. Not content with that prognosis, Field and her mother, Joanne Field scoured the globe for various alternative therapies to help Field – and today, Field is able to live independantly with greater physical and cognitive function than her initial doctors ever thought. Although she was never able to return to her dream of being an Olympic-level equestrian rider, her injury opened up new avenues for her.
Now, a college graduate and public speaker, Field is the founder of the J Field Foundation, which assists brain injury patients with funding “alternative” therapies, which are often not covered by insurance. She and her mother co-wrote a memoir on the experience of her accident and recovery called “From Blue Ribbon to Code Blue: A Girl’s Courage, Her Mother’s Love, A Miracle Recovery.”
This year, the All American Inaugural Ball, held Thursday, had a focus on honoring those who have made strides in the area of brain injury research and advocacy. Field was honored alongside congressmen, CEOs and founders of various orgnizations that work toward brain injury research, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Ball was hosted by the Virginia Republican Party, but members of all parties attended to honor those awarded.
Field was presented her award by Alvaro Fernandez, who was also recognized at the event for his work in advancing nueroscience and nuerotechnology.
Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.