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Impact: Mark and Doug

The Power of Friendship

*Film by Matter Creative*

Mark and Doug’s Story

Mark Redding survived a devastating traumatic brain injury in an auto accident on New Year’s Eve in 1985. He became a client at Brain Injury Services in April 2012 and has worked with many of our programs including case management, support groups, DART, supported living, and vocational placement.

In 2013, he was referred to the PALS (Providing a Link for Survivors) program at BIS with the hopes that it would be a stepping stone in Mark’s recovery. This program enables our clients and community volunteers to connect in a mutually enriching friendship to build skills and combat isolation through community integration.

Douglas Kline was a successful DC businessman, married with 2 children and had never worked with someone with a disability before.

The relationship that ensued could only be described as “meant to be” or “magic.” Their friendship blossomed over the years into a relationship that transcended even what the program’s intentions were.

Mark and Doug on a bike ride

The simple act of making someone feel like they matter in the world was helping to support improvements in Mark’s life that were noticeable. Productive focus, speech patterns, social skills, and community integration just to name a few. Doug and Mark shared so many adventures together over the years; car shows, spicy food, concerts, bike rides along the Potomac, bad movies, craft shows, etc. They have enjoyed years of adventures together with friendship as Mark’s guide to navigate the journey to recovery when all traditional methods of therapy ended.

This story is a lesson in the simple yet powerful effect human connection can have and we hope the world can learn and be inspired by Doug and Mark.


Making a Difference

For over 30 years, Brain Injury Services has been empowering those impacted by brain injury.  We are proud to share the impact our dedicated staff makes each and every day in the community by working with our resilient clients.