913-754-8883 biaksrun@gmail.com


2023 HONOREE: Brent Parks

For 28 years Brent Parks has worked at Insulite Glass, a glass fabrication company, in Olathe, Kansas. At the time of his brain injury, Brent handled quality control over raw glass brought to the facility. August 8, 2014, started as a routine day on the job. In an instant, Brent’s life changed. While examining a sheet of glass, Brent was struck by a piece of metal, which came loose from a hook positioned above his head. He was knocked unconscious and fell to the concrete floor. His head was wounded by both the metal and the impact of his fall. A truck driver nearby heard the crash and ran over. It took several workers to remove the heavy piece of metal, which landed on Brent’s chest.

Rushed to Overland Park Regional’s Trauma Center, Brent was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for two weeks. He suffered a cracked skull, cracked ribs and bruising. Miraculously, Brent was able to avoid surgery. Doctors treated his head wounds with staples. Brent has no memory of the accident, or the initial hospital stay. His first recollection of anything was getting a haircut in the hospital. As a result of the injury, Brent suffers lifelong impairments to his speech, vision, and balance. He also battles intense feelings of anger and irritability, which are common after a brain injury.

After two weeks in the hospital, Brent was transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation center in Lincoln, NE. When insurance would no longer cover the cost of his stay, his workman’s compensation paid for a rental house across the street. Over two months, Brent participated in full-day physical, speech, eye, and occupational therapies. When he first entered the treatment facility, Brent was in a wheelchair. By the end of his stay, he was able to leave on foot.

Brent recalls a significant turning point during rehabilitation while his granddaughter was visiting. Until this time in recovery, Brent’s emotions were often dominated by anger and aggression. In a loving moment with his grandchild, Brent realized he needed to stop being so mad every day. Brent did not want his children or grandchildren to think of him this way. Since then, Brent works daily on controlling his negative emotions. He has taught himself to detach from anger and “shut down the emotions” (in his words). The downside to this coping method is that he cannot dull the negative emotions without dulling the positive ones as well. He is peaceful and steady in daily life, but admits he no longer experiences extreme moments of joy or excitement.

In November 2014, Brent returned home to Olathe. He continued full-time therapy at a nearby rehabilitation center and made regular trips to Nebraska for meetings with his doctor. 14 months after the accident, Brent started gradually returning to work at Insulite Glass. He went from four hours a day to six hours and eventually 10 hours. The injury did not take away his perseverance and work ethic. Despite challenges, Brent shows up to work every day and remains dutiful, helpful, and reliable in all he does.

Off the job, Brent returned to his bowling team and bowls two nights a week. He also enjoys monthly Saturdays with a support group of other brain injury survivors. Brent is married with two sons (a biological son and a stepson), one grandson and two granddaughters. He tries never to complain or dwell on his injury anymore. Brent’s main purpose in life is to simply be a good father and grandfather. He understands better than most, life is a gift.



1993 - Tricia Thompson*
1994 - Casey Powers
1995 - Josepha Mosley
1996 - Karen Dionne
1997 - Terry Cheyney
1998 - Laurie Williams
1999 - Suzanne Dotson
2000 - Patricia Mendenhall
2001 - Pat Poull
2002 - Hubert Feuerborn
2003 - Tony Zink
2004 - Mark Dmytrk
2005 - Chad Myers*
2006 - Ben Avery
2007 - Nicole Turner
2008 - Scott Ward
2009 - Chad Grotewiel
2010 - Jake Clough*
2011 - Kevin Walker
2012 - Avery Schieszer
2013 - Dustin Criscione*
2014 - Katie Zemel
2015 - David Haydon
2016 - James McGinnis
2017 - Zeke Crozier
2018 - Alanna Seymour
2019 - Steve Zink
2021 - Terri Kern
2022 - Tyler Moss
2023 - Brent Parks



Ralph Yarl

The Memorial Day Run honors individuals affected by brain injury who exemplify the same courage and determination that Amy Thompson demonstrated.

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Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City (BIAKS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for those affected by brain injury.

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The first Memorial Day run was held in 1988 honoring Amy Thompson, a young woman whose courage, forgiveness and will to live gave hope to all affected by brain injury.

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Promote your business or organization and support those affected by a brain injury. Contact bjacobson@biaks.org  or click the link below.

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Contact Us


6701 West 64th Street Suite 120 Overland Park, Kansas 66202

    PHONE: 913-754-8883

   E-MAIL: bjacobson@biaks.org