Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist who experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain in 1996. On the afternoon of this rare form of stroke (AVM), she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. It took eight years for Dr. Jill to completely recover all of her physical function and thinking ability. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey (published in 2008 by Viking Penguin). In 2008, Dr. Jill gave a presentation at the TED Conference in Monterrey, CA, which turned out to be the first TED talk to ever go viral through the internet. TED and Dr. Jill became world famous instantaneously and her TED talk is now one of the top 5 most viewed TED talks of all time. This now famous 18-minute presentation catapulted her story into the public eye, and within six weeks of presenting that TED talk, Dr. Jill was chosen as one of TIME Magazine‘s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2008, she was the premiere guest on Oprah’s Soul Series web-cast, and her book My Stroke of Insight became a New York Times bestseller.
Dr. Jill feels passionate about helping others find their way back from neurological trauma, and is involved with the development of the upcoming feature film of her life. Dr. Jill created the not-for-profit organization Jill Bolte Taylor BRAINS, which is dedicated to providing educational services and promoting programs related to the advancement of brain awareness, appreciation, exploration, education, injury prevention, neurological recovery, and the value of movement on mental and physical health, as well as other activities that support this purpose. The Brain Extravaganza was the not-for-profit’s first educational awareness program and you can learn more about that community project at jbtbrains.org. In March of 2017, ten of these big brains will be on the Butler University campus as a part of their Butler ONE Brain Project. The brains will remain on display until after graduation.
Dr. Jill remains the National Spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Harvard Brain Bank), and educates the public about the shortage of brain tissue donated for research into the severe mental illnesses. Since 1993, she has been an active member of NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is now president-emeritus of the NAMI Greater Bloomington Area affiliate in Bloomington, Indiana, after serving as the president for over ten years.