Actor Gary Busey Wins 40K for Brain Injury Center

Actor Gary Busey joined Donald Trump’s hit TV reality show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” this season. On the episode that aired March 21st, Busey took on the role of project manager for his all male team, Team Backbone. The challenge was to create a display “camping experience”  for Camping World.

Although there were several hurdles the team experienced, Busey’s team won the challenge. The prize was a $20,000 donation and $20,000 in goods from Camping World to his chosen charity, The Center for Head Injury Services in St. Louis, MO.

Busey began his movie and television acting career in the 1970’s. He was nominated for his role in the movie “The Buddy Holly Story,” as the Big Bopper in 1978.

In 1988, Busey had a serious motorcycle accident in which he sustained a fractured skull and permanent brain injury. That is why Busey chose a charity that helps those living with brain damage due to head injuries. Watch video interview with Busey as he elaborates about his choice.  The Center for Head Injury Services wrote:

“Life after a head injury is never the same. Survivors of traumatic brain injury are usually left with life long cognitive and physical impairments. They find themselves separated from the world.”

Busey is notorious for his impulsivity and unusual personality. On the show, fellow team members often complain that he is unable to “focus.” However, what people often do not understand is that with traumatic brain injuries:

“Depending on the part of the brain affected and the severity of the injury, the result on any one individual can vary greatly. Personality changes, memory and judgement deficits, lack of impulse control, and poor concentration are all common. Behavioral changes can be stressful for families and caregivers who must learn to adapt their communication techniques, established relationships, and expectations of what the impaired person can or cannot do” (Family Caregiver Alliance).

Busey was joined on the show by his team members: Jose Canseco, David Cassidy, Richard Hatch, Lil Jon, Meat Loaf, Mark McGrath and John Rich. On the opposing side, Team ASAP included: Hope Dworaczyk, La Toya Jackson, Star Jones, NeNe Leakes, Marlee Matlin, Lisa Rinna, Niki Taylor and Dionne Warwick. Several contestants have since been sent home by Trump, with his infamous statement … “You’re fired!”


Celebrity Apprentice on NBC.

The Center for Head Injury Services.

Family Caregiver Alliance. “Coping with Behavior Problems after Head Injury.”


Actor Gary Busey Picks Maryland Heights Charity for Celebrity Apprentice

Busey Wins $40,000 for Maryland Heights-based Charity

Busey wins $40,000 for brain injury center on Celebrity Apprentice

Center for Head Injury Services to Use “Celebrity Apprentice” Winnings for General Operations



The Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA) encourages, educates and connects people and organizations touched by illness, pain and disability around the globe. Formerly known as The Invisible Disabilities Advocate, IDA was founded in 1997 and incorporated in 2004 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. IDA reaches out through our websites, projects, articles, pamphlets, booklet, social network, resources, videos, radio interviews, seminars, events and more! Get the word out! Share a link to our articles and pages with Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and through Email by clicking on the Share link. Leave a comment!


  1. Sherri says

    Sadly, it seems the guys on his team don’t get it, even though they know Gary has TBI. They keep complaining that he doesn’t “focus.” People are always trying to change someone with brain damage, when it is the friends and family who need to learn how to adapt (as the Family Caregiver Alliance wrote).

    If someone’s leg is broken, we don’t fault them for not being able to run on it like they used to do. We adapt to the situation and puli up a chair for them when they need it. Same should be for TBI and other invisible disabilities. :)

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