Disability can happen to any one, at any time. Lynn Lehman of Minneapolis knows this from personal experience.
In April 1995, Lehman, was a busy single mom, and a barber/owner of Clipper Cuts on West Broadway in North Minneapolis. While driving to her mother's house to pick up her kids, a van in front of Lehman swerved to avoid a car driving the wrong way on 35W. Lehman's car was hit head-on by a drunk driver and then rear-ended by several other cars forced into a sudden stop by the crash.
Lehman was left with a brain injury, multiple crushed and broken bones, and in a coma for five months. When she woke from the coma, she faced months of rehabilitation. Lehman spent almost a year learning to walk and talk, and regaining use of her left arm and hand. Determined to discover whether or not she could return to work as a barber, Lehman apprenticed with another barber for several months, until she felt ready to return to her shop.
Today, Lehman wears braces on both legs, walks with a cane and has difficulty remembering day-to-day events and appointments. Despite her challenges, she is committed to making her business a success and her shop a safe gathering place for her North Minneapolis community.
'The $5,000 from the Jacobson Award will allow me to replace and update three barber chairs and sinks, and improve lighting and signage,' Lehman said. She also plans to purchase hair care products she can sell in her shop. 'I want to make this a safe place where people come for all their hair care needs. And, a little love besides.'
'Lynn looks for ways to improve, not only her business, but also the community around her,' said her nominator, Amy Keegan, Lehman's business consultant with WomenVenture of Minneapolis. 'Lynn is a fighter: she fought to come out of her coma, she fought through her rehabilitation, and she is fighting for her business. She is an amazing woman who deserves to be recognized for her achievement.'
Lehman will be honored at an event on Thursday, Sept. 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Courage Center, 3915 Golden Valley Road. If you'd like to attend, please contact Christiana Czarnowki at 763-520-0543 by Sept. 22.
The Judd Jacobson Memorial Award is named for the late Minnesota business leader who became a quadriplegic as a result of a diving accident. The $5,000 cash award is administered by Courage Center, with funds made possible by Daniel J. Gainey, a lifelong friend of Jacobson.
Courage Center is a nonprofit rehabilitation and resource center that advances the lives of children and adults experiencing barriers to health and independence. At Courage Center, we specialize in treating brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, chronic pain, autism, and disabilities experienced since birth. Founded in 1928, Minneapolis-based Courage Center offers advanced technologies and innovation provided in part through the efforts of thousands of volunteers and donors. For more information visit www.CourageCenter.org.