Against All Odds

Trisha Robbins overcomes brain injury obstacles—and helps others do the same!

Tricia Robbins regained her career with help from Pathfinder Resource Connection

Trisha Robbins is a fighter. Once a successful realtor/auctioneer, she began to suffer from headaches and unexplained dizziness. In 2003, she received the diagnosis: an acoustic neuroma, which had grown to 2.5 cm and was pushing on her brain stem. Unfortunately, the surgery to correct the problem lasted 18 hours and was filled with complications, leading to partial facial paralysis and leaving her deaf in one ear.

A second surgery, designed to correct the damage from the first, left Trisha feeling as if she were starting all over again, and she struggled with the simplest task. Ultimately, Trisha suffered from memory loss and found herself needing to cope with learning and processing in different ways. Ever the fighter, Trisha’s barriers didn’t stop her. She continued to raise her two young sons and fight each battle that came her way.

Always In Her Corner

One of those battles, reclaiming her career, was a goal she achieved with the help of Pathfinder Services’ Resource Connection and Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Thanks to these employment services through Pathfinder Services, Trisha found the help she needed to renew her realtor/auctioneer licenses. Certainly, it wasn’t as easy as it was before, but she studied hard. Pathfinder worked with Steve Ness, owner of Ness Bros Realty and Auction Services, who was very supportive of Trisha’s struggle and welcomed her on board as a Realtor and Auctioneer. It was a day of celebration when she passed her exams and was re-licensed!

Today, Trisha loves her job and relishes the strengths she gained from the challenge of reaching her goals. “The struggle I endured has made me a stronger and better person,” says Trisha. “I have received a great gift called humility from having to start over.”

Helping Others Win The Fight

It’s a gift she hopes to pass on to others, raising awareness about brain injuries and offering hope through a Brain Injury Support Group she started in Wabash County, which meets at Parkview Wabash County Hospital on the third Tuesdays of every month.

Trisha had been attending the Grant County support group but felt that the need was great in Wabash County also. “It is so therapeutic to meet with others who are familiar with the daily struggles of coping with a brain injury. I didn’t even realize that my neuroma and surgeries had caused a brain injury until I read it as a diagnosis on a medical form,” she said. “People don’t realize that if you have ever suffered from even a concussion, chances are you may have an injury that can affect the process of your brain” she said.

Thanks to Pathfinder Services, Trisha has been able to overcome her obstacles and offer help to others, too.


If you’d like to help people like Trisha gain meaningful employment, give us a call. Your volunteer hours and financial gifts really make a difference!