Social Impact Heroes: Jamie MoCrazy Heads to Capitol Hill to Advocate for Traumatic Brain Injury…

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Social Impact Heroes: Jamie MoCrazy Heads to Capitol Hill to Advocate for Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery

I would say the one person who was the most involved and to whom I owe my recovery and life is my mom. There were a lot of times, for months, where I was not making my own decisions; she was making the decisions that created the outcome that you see today. I love her a lot; I am so fortunate.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jamie MoCrazy.

Besides being ranked #1 for three consecutive years, Former Pro Skier JamieMoCrazy is the first woman to double-flip in a slopestyle ski run and is the epitome of strength and perseverance for all female athletes. In 2015, at World Tour Finals, upon landing a trick, Jamie caught an edge and whiplashed her head into the snow causing her brain to bleed in 8 spots, and she immediately went into a natural coma, facing paralysis on her right side. In fact, doctors wrote her time of death in the helicopter on the way to the hospital where doctors informed her family that there was a 0% chance she lived.

Miraculously, 10 days later, Jamie woke up to severe memory loss and a loss of ALL motor skills. During the relearning process, she was 100% dependent on her family — sister Jeanee and mother, Fruit. The family sacrifice, determination, and mindset are why Jamie is who she is today.

Along with her sister, Jeanee MoCrazy, Jamie is the co-founder of the charity, MoCrazy Strong, a charitable foundation raising awareness on traumatic brain injury and methods to recover. Today, both sisters work on MoCrazy Strong, and Jamie is a keynote speaker, traveling across the nation raising awareness of TBI’s.

On Tuesday, March 7th, 2023, the short documentary, #MoCrazyStrong, was screened on Capitol Hill. Jamie went face-to-face with nation’s policy makers, showing the importance of family involvement, person-centered practices, and complementary medicine and healing opportunities for TBI recovery to help make change and increase access to recovery.

Maria Angelova had the opportunity to personally meet Jamie and her family, attend the screening and interview various key stake holders. Below is the transcript from the video interview with Jamie MoCrazy.

Hello everyone, and on behalf of Authority Magazine, it is my absolute pleasure to welcome with me today my awesome guest — Jamie Mo Crazy. I am thrilled to have you here Jamie, and for you to share your story of inspiration and resilience.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

During my childhood, I was very adventurous. I was always climbing on things. The name Mo Crazy started in my childhood when I was about eight months old. I climbed up the drapes and got stuck at the top, and I said, “Mommy, come help me,” and she said, “Oh, my little crazy,” and then it stuck. Now, it has actually turned into my legal last name.

I was always Jamie Mo Crazy, the little Mo Crazy, my whole childhood. As far as skiing goes, it actually passed down through lots of generations. My grandmother was the World Cup downhill champion, and my great uncle went to the Olympics twice for skiing. My great grandmother actually sewed the first-ever Olympic uniforms for skiing.

So, you definitely have ties to skiing.

Yes, I do.

Now, you didn’t just pick up any kind of skiing, you picked the crazy type of skiing, Mo Crazy. Tell us about that. What got you into the crazy type of skiing?

I grew up doing gymnastics, skiing, and playing soccer. Those were my three main sports as a child. As for combining gymnastics and skiing, it actually started when I was nine years old. I was interviewed by the Connecticut Post, and they asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. I said I wanted to combine skiing and gymnastics, and that’s how it all started.

Yeah, and you were on top of your career when something happened?

Yes. I was traveling around the world competing professionally. I had been to the X Games and was actually the first woman to double flip at X Games. I was climbing up the mountain of life when I was caught in a metaphorical avalanche, which slid me down to the bottom.

It happened at the World Tour finals. I gave my little sister Jeannie a hug and dropped in for my second run. In my first run, I ended up in fourth place. You know I had to upgrade. Everyone was like, “Oh, good job.” But no, if you know sports, you know fourth place is not on the podium.

I had to change my off-axis backflip to an off-axis double backflip. In the second run, when I took off, I actually landed the double backflip on my feet, but I caught an edge and whiplashed my head onto the snow. My brain started bleeding in eight spots. I hurt the left side of my brain, which paralyzed the right side of my body.

What do you remember happened after?

I remember very little of that whole situation and very little of what happened after because I was in a coma. When I woke up from the coma, I could only open my eyes for two minutes. I had serious amnesia. I used to always say, like the movie “50 First Dates,” but unfortunately, less and less people have seen that movie now. I still love it. In “50 First Dates,” the star can’t remember short-term memories day-to-day; I had no recollection of what had happened during the day.

What was the journey after?

The journey after was interesting because when my mind came back and I started remembering things, I was leaving the hospital. However, I didn’t believe I was in the hospital. The nurses would ask me where I was, and I’d say, “I’m in a movie about a hospital. You see, I have pictures all over my walls. I have a hammock in my room.” And I could even prove it to them because when they poked me with needles, it didn’t hurt because I thought I was in a movie. They had trouble figuring out how to tell their patient that it didn’t hurt because she was paralyzed. My mom convinced me that I couldn’t leave where I was without telling them that I was in the hospital.

What was your prognosis after you left the hospital?

When I left the hospital, the prognosis was that I would never walk or talk again. They said that I would be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life and that I would need 24/7 care. My family refused to accept that prognosis and they took me to different rehab facilities and found doctors who believed in my potential for recovery. With a lot of hard work and determination, I was able to make progress and regain some of my abilities. It was a long journey, but I am grateful for the support and love of my family and friends who never gave up on me. I’m now able to walk, talk, and live a relatively independent life.

What was your healing journey like?

For my healing journey, a big portion of it was that my mom has a masters in psychology and early childhood brain development and certification in nutrition. We focused on how what you eat affects your outcomes. I was always eating natural foods. For the first two years, I was staying away from any alcohol. I stayed away from caffeine. I stayed away from white sugar. What you consume affects the outcomes you have. We also did a lot of nature therapy — going outside, even when I was in the hospital in a wheelchair and I couldn’t walk. My mom would bring me outside in the wheelchair; that’s vital — statistics show going outside helps you a lot.

Yes. It’s huge. It is the little things; it is impressive how the little things make such a huge difference. How many years has it been now since your injury? Seven years?

Actually, it’s almost April. So it’s almost eight years.

Congratulations, Jamie. What is your purpose now? What do you do, and why are we here tonight?

We are here because I am going to be screening the film we just produced called #MoCrazy Strong in front of the legislature and policymakers for traumatic brain injury federally, across the US. I am really excited about that because as part of changing the narrative around TBI, policymakers need to understand that they need to provide opportunities, state and federal funding for years beyond just the acute hospital care in order to allow time for a full recovery. The mindset needs to shift from believing that individuals with traumatic brain injury will need disability insurance for the rest of their life to thinking that, if we provide more upfront care and opportunities, these people will be able to have a full recovery and contribute back to society.

Jamie, if you had to thank one person who inspired you to keep going through your journey, or maybe multiple people, who would that be?

I would say the one person who was the most involved and to whom I owe my recovery and life is my mom. There were a lot of times, for months, where I was not making my own decisions; she was making the decisions that created the outcome that you see today. I love her a lot; I am so fortunate.

That is why we created the nonprofit “MoCrazy Strong.” We are doing this work because many individuals do not have the educated support. Even if a family caregiver wants to help and loves the person, quite often they end up actually hurting rather than helping.

For example, my mom would tape down my strong hand to utilize my weaker hand to regain my mobility; many people do not understand things like that.

Jamie, if you had to leave us with an inspirational quote, life lesson, or a word of wisdom, what would you tell our listeners and readers?

My inspirational quote is from my mom again, and it’s “Be you own personal best.” That’s different from just being successful and being the best. Sometimes, your own personal best for that day is walking your dog or having a hot chocolate.

Jamie, you mentioned your organization, MoCrazy Strong. Can you tell us a little bit more about it and what big projects you have going on there?

Sure! MoCrazy Strong provides educated guidance and peer-to-peer support for traumatic brain injury survivors and their family caregivers. We have been doing this work for years, but we recently became an official 501(c)(3) organization, which has allowed us to structure our delivery of services more effectively.

One of our major focuses is raising awareness about the opportunities for traumatic brain injury recovery and how to access them. We have found that many people struggle with finding resources once they leave the hospital. We want to provide a roadmap to help people in this situation to thrive and contribute back to society.

Excellent. Where can people find you and follow your journey and everything that you do?

Our website is and on Instagram, I am @jamiemocrazy, and Facebook is @MoCrazyStrong.

Thank you so much, Jamie. I appreciate your time. I wish you continued success! I’m really excited about the screening tonight. Let’s make a change.

Social Impact Heroes: Jamie MoCrazy Heads to Capitol Hill to Advocate for Traumatic Brain Injury… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.