Middle school students support brain research at MCW
April 17, 2013 College News - A group of motivated eighth grade students from Muskego visited MCW this week to make a donation to Dr. Mike McCrea and the Neuroscience Research Center. The students led two fundraisers over the winter aimed at supporting traumatic brain injury research.
Lauren Wahlen and “Kat” Wahlen, twin sisters at Bay Lane Middle School, became interested in brain injury research after their 10-year old brother Webb suffered four concussions.
“It was scary, we rushed him to Children’s Hospital, he couldn’t really talk, didn’t know his name,” said Kat. “He lost all his math facts.”
Webb recovered, but is unable to play contact sports for the rest of his life.
His sisters enlisted the help of two friends, Bobby Watson and Jami Donnelly, to raise funds—and awareness—of concussion.
The four organized fundraisers at Texas Roadhouse restaurant and Jimmy John’s Subs, and raised a total of $685 for brain research at MCW. They visited campus this week and toured the neuroscience research area and the STAR Center, learned about MCW, had lunch with researchers, and presented the check to Dr. Michael McCrea, Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of the Brain Injury Research program.
“The fact you chose this cause to honor your brother and friend, and to support this work, is just awesome. This generous donation will make a difference, and I am grateful for all your hard work and support,” Dr. McCrea told the students.
The incidence of concussion is rising; between 1997 and 2007, the rate of concussion in children ages eight to thirteen doubled. In high school students, it increased 200%.
Dr. McCrea said he plans to use the funds to directly help children ages five to twelve, who may have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
l-r: Lauren Wahlen, Bobby Watson, Jami Donnelly, “Kat” Wahlen,
Dr. Michael McCrea