Cazoshay enjoys live theater, visual arts (as an artist herself), as well as live music such as the symphony. When in louder environments, Cazoshay brings special earplugs to help minimize the symptoms associated with TBI. She also loves everything food! Dining out, cooking, and entertaining are some of her favorite things to do. Cazoshay has a blog where she shares recipes as well as her experiences living with a TBI. She is active on social media (@cazoshay_marie on TikTok and Instagram) where she posts tips about living with TBI and other fun and elegant lifestyle content. She loves to read, and audiobooks have become a great way to enjoy the activity with minimal aggravation to her symptoms. Gardening is an activity Cazoshay has done all her life and she has learned how to modify her methods to accommodate for her TBI. Hailing from “The Last Frontier” (Alaska), Cazoshay has a pioneering spirit that has allowed her to press forward and think creatively as a public speaker, where she gets to enjoy not only sharing her story and advocating for the disability community, but to also have the pleasure of meeting so many different people from all walks of life.
Cazoshay’s Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Journey
On May 19th, 2017, Cazoshay was struck by a car traveling 48mph while crossing the street in downtown Phoenix. She sustained numerous injuries, some of which have had long-term effects, including a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Her life took a total “180”, and she had no idea how many challenges she would face with a TBI; everything from learning how to manage her symptoms to figuring out daily self-care and household management, all while caring for her son as a single mother. Through her speaking engagements and disability advocacy, Cazoshay has shared her story of living with TBI to encourage others and advocate for those in the disability community. Cazoshay has turned her TBI into a tool for good that she uses to reach out to people who need support. Her journey of living with TBI has informed her on how to teach others that they can still live a high-quality life, despite any limitations or negative circumstances they may find themselves in. Living with a TBI and sharing her story has proven to Cazoshay that your test can become your testimony.
What does Cazoshay think of the quality, usefulness, and user-friendliness of the MSKTC resources?
The MSKTC resources cover such a wide variety of topics that affect individuals living with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). They cover social and lifestyle issues, as well as specific cognitive and physical topics that people with TBI need to know. The site is very straightforward and user-friendly, which is so important for those living with TBI who are at various levels of being able to manage their symptoms. Cazoshay loves that the information is available in a variety of formats, including comics, making it accessible, entertaining, and memorable. Having newly discovered the MSKTC TBI resources, Cazoshay has been able to gain valuable insight, even several years after having acquired her own TBI. People will be able to use these resources to share not only with those who have TBIs but also with the community at large for all individuals to understand what TBI entails and how to best support those living with the condition. Another important and perhaps unforeseen aspect of usefulness that the MSKTC resources offer is a validation of the experiences that people with TBI face. The MSKTC resources show users that they are not alone and that their experiences are real and valid.
Why does Cazoshay want to be an MSKTC ambassador?
Cazoshay attended a virtual open house where she learned about the research and resources that MSKTC has available for individuals living with TBI. She was blown away at the amount of credible and relevant information available on the site in a variety of formats. As someone who has been involved in speaking for many organizations and at many events about TBI, she was excited to see that a comprehensive resource existed and knew immediately she wanted to get involved. The fact that MSKTC has considered so many of the numerous ways that TBI affects individuals and has created multiple ways to share that information on one site made her eager to want to be an ambassador and help spread the news that such a valuable resource exists.
What has Cazoshay done as an MSKTC ambassador?
As soon as Cazoshay attended the virtual open house, she immediately added a link for the MSKTC website to her bio site. When she was selected to be an MSKTC Ambassador, she also shared information about the site in the announcements she posted across her various networks. Cazoshay plans to use her social media outlets to share about MSKTC resources as well as reference them during her speaking engagements to refer more individuals back to the MSKTC. She has already received positive feedback from her community about the usefulness of the MSKTC resources and is looking forward to sharing even more.