Billings Teen Raises Money for TBI Awareness - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Billings Teen Raises Money for TBI Awareness

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BILLINGS - A Billings teenager is raising money to help families affected by Traumatic Brain Injuries.

15-year-old J.J. Ellis suffered a traumatic brain injury three years ago in a youth football game, forcing him to relearn basic tasks like tying his shoes, using a zipper and writing.

"There's a lot of stuff that's still difficult," he said. "People just look at me and think 'Oh he's out playing, he's having fun and everything,' and that's what it looks like, but on the inside, that's not really what's happening. It's harder for me to do stuff, and understand stuff."

Ellis said he still struggles to concentrate in school, and deals with many everyday issues stemming from the injury. After years of rehabilitation and multiple types of therapy, Ellis wants to make a difference for families dealing with similar TBI consequences.

"We'd like to help them with their medical expenses, we'd like to help with counseling and maybe some fun stuff too," said Cindy Ellis, J.J.'s mother.

Cindy hopes to raise awareness of TBI's lasting consequences.

Dr. Terry Cahill, who works with TBI patients, said most of the problems with TBIs are invisible to the naked eye.

"It's problems with the memory -- problems concentrating, and there can be a whole host of other problems people experience," he said. "It certainly takes a lot of education, and usually communication, to make sure patients in their respective environments -- whether that be school or work -- know what they're going through."

If you'd like to donate, please click here.

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