Cristabelle Braden is an award-winning singer/songwriter, speaker, writer, podcast host, and advocate for brain injury. After suffering a traumatic brain injury, she began to write music. Since then, she has surpassed medical expectations and thrived in her newfound gift of music; she has come from re-learning daily life tasks in brain injury rehabilitation to setting her feet firmly on the ground as a songwriter, speaker, and artist with a message of hope. Whether speaking or singing, she brings her powerful testimony and a message of freedom, healing, and love wherever she goes. She is devoted to bringing support and education through her brain injury podcast Hope Survives® and her online support community Hope After Head Injury. Hosting weekly live videos for over five years, monthly support meetings, and engaging daily in her online support group, her commitment and attentiveness to brain injury survivors and their families is evident and inspirational. Highly respected in the brain injury community, Cristabelle sits on the Board of Directors for the Council on Brain Injury, is a dedicated volunteer with the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania, and advocates on a statewide and national level with the Brain Injury Association of America.
Her passion to share hope has also led her to creating Brain Injury Bible Study, the first and only online Bible study group of its kind for the brain injury community. She has not let her brain injury define her and has continued to pursue her education; she holds a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Liberty University and a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Religion (double major) from Lebanon Valley College. Cristabelle has continually persevered through the daily challenges that come with living with a brain injury, and through her setbacks, re-injuries, and struggles, discovered a stronger and clearer voice and message.
Q&A with Cristabelle
Question: Why is it important to have faith-based conversations with brain injury survivors? Having a brain injury affects a person's whole life. Rehabilitation therapy often addresses the physical and some of the emotional symptoms, but a survivor may experience a deep sense of loss with the way their entire life changed so quickly. Many survivors struggle with a loss of identity. This is where the spiritual side can come in and bring a lot of healing. In my personal journey with TBI, my faith has been the one constant through all of the ups and downs. Every setback, I knew the Lord was there to help me through. Faith in God has lifted me up when nothing else can. Recovery is hard, and it can be very overwhelming to continually be working in PT, OT, Speech, etc. Having faith-based conversations can help survivors to have perspective when they are struggling in so many areas. Faith increases a person's hope, joy, and gratitude... and nothing can take that away. Even in the middle of the hardest day, feeling confused, struggling with memory or executive functioning, and feeling overwhelmed by the environment, if a survivor has faith, they have something to hold onto. Faith keeps us going and gives us a reason to hold on. Question: What are you hoping to achieve with your involvement with Success?
Faith has been an integral part of my brain injury recovery journey. But it can be hard to study the Bible with reading, vision, memory, and cognitive challenges. So my goal with Brain Injury Bible Study is to make the Bible accessible, and create a faith community where we understand the brain injury journey and support each other! My Brain Injury Bible Study online group has been wonderful, and I am very excited to bring this to Success as part of their day program! I hope that this group helps clients at Success to know they are not alone in their emotions and empowers them in their everyday life. I hope that it helps them to approach each day with joy, knowing that God is with them and that God loves them. It is an honor to join Success as an instructor, and I am so grateful for all that Success does for their clients. I hope that this group can be a part of helping Success clients to know that they are seen, heard, loved, and not alone.
We’re so excited for Cristabelle to join the team. Stay tuned!