FARMINGTON, N.Y. — Bridges for Brain Injury is a not-for-profit in Farmington that helps brain injury survivors bridge the gap between surviving and thriving.

Trooper the coyote and Ringo the cross fox are two of the 30 animals in the Wildlife Rockstars brain rehabilitation program at Bridges for Brain Injury in Farmington.

What You Need To Know

  • Bridges for Brain Injury has several day programs for people with traumatic brain injuries

  • 5.3 million people live with a life-long disability as a result of a brain injury

  • The Widlife Rockstars program is an education outreach group

Traumatic brain injury survivors care for the animals in this education and outreach program. Ari DeVries suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash. She could no longer work and was afraid to leave her house, but working with the animals here helped her feel like herself again.

“I just love working with animals. I first started out I was just sweeping and doing dishes and then I started helping to feed the animals. It just makes you feel really good about yourself,” said DeVries.

COVID-19 has been tough on the center. Donations and memberships are down. They are not going on many field trips these days. It takes a lot to feed and care for the animals. Bridges for Brain Injury started a GoFundMe to help and The United Way big online ROC the Day donation drive is coming up December 1.

“So if you could be a big rock star and help us out that money will go straight into our wildlife program, said Tiffany Joubert, director of Wildlife Education at Bridges for Brain Injury. "Things like just buying food and getting extra veggies and cool outings for the members."

DeVries loves and appreciates what the Wildlife Rockstars program did for her. She now works there.

“It’s truly been an amazing journey for me and that is what the program is all about," said DeVries. "It is about regaining the confidence you lost after a brain injury.”

Bridges for Brain Injury is located at 5760 Duke of Gloucester Way in Farmington.