Madison Farrand - RIT Women's Ice Hockey

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Madison Farrand is a junior at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) playing division I hockey and majoring in Aerospace Mechanical Engineering. This is her journey to being #New Tough and a proud participant of Concussion Awareness Week 2019:

“Entering my freshmen year at RIT was no smooth ride.  Within my first week on campus I hit my head pretty hard on a couch and what seemed harmless turned out to be a longer than expected journey through concussion recovery. This was not my first concussion but, it was the hardest for me to overcome. I was out for 2.5 months which prolonged my start to a brand-new team in a brand-new place.  It was a long way back but with the help of my trainers, support of my teammates, and the Headway Foundation I overcame this. 

            I have known Headway’s Program Development Coordinator and Director of Research, Sarah Renberg for many years. We grew up playing hockey together and unfortunately her hockey career ended due to head injury.   I wouldn’t have thought there would be positives out of the severe head trauma that she experienced but I am very grateful for her impact with the Headway Foundation and the education she has spread to me and many other athletes.  

Throughout my recovery, she assisted me with advice on how to possibly prevent future injuries and how I could overcome each of these injuries using the latest research and her own personal experience.  I owe her a lot for getting me through those tough times when it seems like you’re at rock bottom and there’s no way of getting out.  I would not have returned to play as quickly as I did if I was not aware of the consequences of rushing my recovery.  I am thankful I have continued my college hockey experience without any more concussions but I am fully aware of the dangers and the effects another could have. 

            Seeing the Headway name all over social media and the logo on helmets means a lot to me personally knowing Sarah.  She has worked tirelessly on helping this non-profit expand and only to help athletes truly understand how to play their sport safely. Taking the Headway Pact has not only given me a new look on concussions, but I’ve seen it have similar remarkable effects in the hockey world.”   

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Headway Foundation