If anyone would have asked 27-year-old Brad Bergan in the last year what his number one goal was, they would have gotten a very clear answer, to be a gold medal winner. Brad was seven years old when he had surgery to remove a benign brain tumor that ;left him with a brain injury. But Brad never let that setback hold him back and has gone on to become an independent, friendly young man.
"We are very proud of Brad and all of his accomplishments," Lorena and Scott Bergan, Brad's parents. "Living independently and having a quality life is very important to him."
On With Life's Supported Community Living (SCL) team, a group of specialists who work one-on-one with individuals who have experienced a brain injury and help them live independently, began working with Brad at the beginning of 2015.
"Our priority is to know the interests and goals of those we serve and help them work towards those goals," said Tanya Schultz, On With Life SCL specialist. "For Brad, we found out very quickly that his goal was to participate in the Special Olympic Iowa Games, so that became our goal as well."
Their hard work together paid off. Brad competed in the softball throw in the Special Olympics in April and won a gold medal, something his mother says wouldn't have been possible without the On With Life SCL team.
"Thanks to the On With Life staff, Brad was well prepared," said Lorena. "Their number one goal was to help Brad succeed and I'll never forget the look on his face when he won that gold medal."