Brian's impish grin, twinkling green eyes and devilish sense of humor are hard to resist. Friends delight in his "Brianpalooza" parties. Even animals respond to his expressions of inner joy.
That's why "Lilly," his canine assistant, is featured on the business cards for the "Golden Graphics" design business he runs out of his apartment. And that's also why therapeutic horseback riding has been instrumental to his ongoing recovery from a traumatic brain injury 13 years ago, when he was 16.
Brian recently used his Trust Fund award to continue therapeutic horseback riding, an activity he loves for its athleticism and competition. And its results.
"Eighteen months after his accident, he had to be cued three times per minute to stay on task," says his mother, Sue. "Today, he can work for as long as 50 minutes sequencing information."
Brian agrees. "The horseback riding and cognitive therapy complement each other in my life," he says. "They both work on attention, memory and posture."
A disciplined taskmaster in the ring, Brain says horses respond to his consistent, firm guidance. They can also sense that he is fearless - riding anything from a quarter horse to a Tennessee Walker.
This persistence was recognized in April 2005, when Brian, 28, excelled at yet another event. This time he received a blue ribbon in independent horse handling at the Chris and Merry Carlos Horse Park at Chastain.
As his mother says, "The Trust Fund has given Brian a number of opportunities and he has made the most of them."
Brian has come a long way from the car accident that changed his life just two months after receiving his driver's license.
"I went from accelerated classes to special education; from running track to physical therapy; from being a popular guy to being someone people did not know how to react to," says Brian.
"Even though my car accident was horrible, I wouldn't have it any other way now, because it gave me a chance to see life from a disabled person's perspective and see that this view is as good as any other person's view."
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