On Feb. 25, Culver City brain injury survivor Katherine Wolf be honored along with her husband Jay Wolf by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ husband, Captain Mark Kelly.
The U.S. astronaut will be the guest presenter at the black tie Tribute to Courage event that will take place at the Pacifica Palms Hotel & Conference Center in Industry Hills. Proceeds from the gala will benefit the Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation programs and services including its nationally renowned brain injury program.
Katherine and Jay Wolf are Culver City residents. College sweethearts, they married at the age of 22. At the time, Katherine began working as a model and actress while Jay studied law at Pepperdine University. Soon after they married they had a baby boy.
On April 21, 2008, Katherine collapsed on the kitchen floor. She was rushed to UCLA Medical Center where doctors discovered she had massive bleeding in her brain caused by a congenital brain defect – an arteriovenous malformation (AVM).
Doctors performed 16 hours of intricate brain surgery, removing 60 percent of Katherine’s cerebellum. While her cognition and mental faculties remained intact, her motor control was severely affected and the right side of her face was paralyzed. She spent 40 days in intensive care at UCLA, then another three months in the hospital’s neuro-acute rehab unit before being transferred to Casa Colina’s Transitional Living Center for intensive rehabilitation. Jay moved into one of the Casa Colina homes adjacent to the campus with their son, so he could be there to attend her therapy sessions and support her.
“We don’t have any expectations. We hold onto things very lightly and just go with the flow because we know how quickly things can change,” Jay stated in a press release. “All the more reason to celebrate the time we have together with our families, those milestones and happy, small moments.”
Captain Mark Kelly, whose wife – former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords - also suffered a traumatic brain injury following an assassination attempt on Jan. 8, 2011, said in a release, “I’m very pleased that I’ll be able to be at Casa Colina’s Tribute to Courage. As much of a challenge and honor that is was to be the Commander of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on its final flight to the Space Station, it is much more of a challenging and humbling experience to see the resilience and determination of my wife, Gabrielle Giffords, as she fights her way back to reclaim her life. I also look forward to hearing the story of Katherine and Jay Wolf, and … to celebrate what rehabilitation can achieve to help people regain their spirit and their lives.”
Captain Kelly will sign copies of the memoir he co-wrote with his wife, entitled Gabby.
For more information on the event, to donate, or become a sponsor, please contact Casa Colina Foundation at (909) 596-7733 Ext. 2223 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.