Friday, January 20, 2012

Twellman's Crusade: ThinkTaylor.Org

Taylor Twellman’s efforts to create more awareness of how serious concussions can be are well documented. We’ve seen him on TV, Twitter, Facebook and other forms of media, but perhaps no action has more potential than the creation of

ThinkTaylor is the culmination of Twellman’s efforts. It acts as a resource for those who are suffering from concussion symptoms or for someone who knows a person afflicted with them. Everything involved with the site is designed to help people. Further more, Twellman himself reads the emails and the letters from those seeking advice or resources. But what types of resources is ThinkTaylor looking towards?

Twellman responds, “I’m actually sitting here responding to our first “Find a doctor” requests. I want it to be the main resource for concussion awareness, particularly in youth soccer. It needs to help people see the right doctors. Maybe set up a monthly Skype type of thing where they talk to doctors or relate with me as a group.”

“As I saw with my first couple talks in Kansas City at the [NCSAA] convention, there are way too many people out there suffering with what I have and they have no direction. There’s no role model so to speak. Unfortunately that is me, but I’m willing to help.”

The project sounds like a huge undertaking. Creating something in which people, particularly youth players, from all over the country can access for information is a massive undertaking. My initial thought was that ThinkTaylor was to be a network of aid, but Twellman was quick to correct me:

“I initially wanted to set up a network of doctors, but I remember that there were doctors that I saw, who were highly recommended, that couldn’t help me either. I’m just going to go case by case and if the doctor is good and helpful, great. If not, we’ll move on.”

“I don’t want this to be so general that I just throw people to any doctor. Maybe we build to a network of 100 doctors or maybe we only have ten because there are only ten quality neurologists that can deal with youth concussions. So I’m not looking to create big network yet, I’d rather it build on its own with a case by case basis.”

There are several facets of the site designed for very intentional purposes. First noticed is the simplicity of the site. The color scheme is, by design, laced in orange. Why? Orange is the color of healing, something which is at the core of ThinkTaylor’s being.

Upon arriving at the webpage you have two options, first to aid in the concussion movement and second to head directly into the site.

Aiding the movement is where you’ll be asked to give some information about why you’re visiting and if you suffer any symptoms yourself. This acts as a form of demographic research to aid in the networking and user base. It is here where much of the work behind the scenes will be done. ThinkTaylor must collect evidence in order to make a difference. They must collect evidence by those who are suffering from PCS.

The second option takes readers directly to the site where the most notable icon is laced in orange, staying simply: ‘Find A Doctor’. It is there where Twellman’s overall intention lies, in finding those suffering someone to help.

Also on the page is the option to purchase gear, which financially supports the cause, and the option to share your story. Twellman was adamant that he would read and respond to those in distress.

“When you have Post Concussion Syndrome you want to talk to someone who has dealt with it. Because if you haven’t gone through it, you cant relate.”

Perhaps most surprising for Twellman was who it was actually accessing the site in its early stages.  

“It’s not players, it’s family members concerned about their family members. They’re scared and want to help. You’d be shocked at how many players need help but don’t want it or don’t know how to get it.”

And so with ThinkTaylor, they have the first step towards recovery and advice. But will Taylor Twellman himself hear your message and see your letters?

“Make no mistake,” he says. “I am going to read all of them.” 

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