New Non-Fiction from Outskirts Press Focuses on a Family’s Struggle with Their Son’s Traumatic Brain Injury

Denver, CO, August 19, 2008 --( Dying to Fight: The Tony Bruno Story is the heartfelt account of a young man whose life was irrevocably altered when he sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of a college sparring match. It is also a love story written by parents to their beloved child.

In 1983, twenty-year-old Tony Bruno was like any other college student who has high hopes and dreams for the future. At Colorado University, he was an above-average student who had grown up with a passion for sports. Since he was a kid, he loved to play, and though he tended to be a bit accident prone, he always gave “one-hundred and ten percent.” Tony Bruno was a personable, good-looking young man, who had a gift for writing poetry, a touch of an adventurous spirit, and as his father writes, “an unquenchable thirst to live life to the fullest.” Coming from a family that had more than its share of boxers, however, it came as no surprise when Tony told his parents that he was thinking of joining CU’s Boxing Club.

Sparring without protective headgear and then, twenty-four hours later, finding himself once again in the ring, Tony sustained a life-threatening injury, as uncontrollable hemorrhaging began in and around his brain. In what occurred over a too-short period of time, Tony Bruno went from being a healthy young man to fighting for his life.

Tony Bruno is not an isolated case, for more than one million people in America suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) each year, injuries that may call for a lifetime of specialized care. Yet, as the Bruno family discovered, neither insurance companies, Medicaid, nor Social Security have updated plans that can adequately handle the needs of a TBI patient or the families who care for the injured.

In Dying to Fight, Peter and Angela Bruno have written about their son’s tragic injury and miraculous survival, and of his life today as a sensitive, big-hearted man who has a much-diminished IQ, an unsteady gait, and little short-term memory. They also tell the story of three generations of an Italian-American family and the experiences that shaped the characters of a grandfather, father, and son.

Praise for Dying to Fight: The Tony Bruno Story –

“Peter Bruno can tell a story. In person he is a passionate guy. He has the knack to make you laugh, and laugh with you. But he also has the courage to cry when talking about his own life. Peter's tale about the valiant battles waged by his son, Tony, and by the entire Bruno family warms your soul and squeezes your heart. His zest for life and his deep love for his son come right through the pages. Peter Bruno can definitely tell a story.”
– Bill Briggs, Sportswriter

ISBN(s): 1432725723 Format(s): 5.5 x 8.5 Paperback; 5.5 x 8.5 Hardback w/Jacket SRP: US $18.95, CAN $24.95; US $24.95, CAN $31.95

Genre: Non-Fiction

Peter A. Bruno & Angela R. Bruno describe themselves are “average American parents, not professional authors.” It has taken us twenty years” Peter Bruno says, “to summon the courage to tell the story of our only son, Tony—a story of the human condition. We also want this book to serve as an exposé of the barbaric sport of boxing, which has as its sole objective to inflict brain damage on the opponent.”

In 1984, the Brunos became involved with the Brain Injury Association of Colorado (BIAC) and served on their board of directors. In 1988, Peter Bruno was part of a delegation from Colorado that went to Washington D.C., to lobby and participate in the first-ever Senate Committee investigating TBIs. “In the budget of $600 million for mental health,” Bruno says, “there was no line item for TBI survivors who need to be cared for the rest of their lives.”

They presented the Committee with a TBI Task Force Report, which had been compiled by a 55-person technical advisory committee. The report outlined recommendations for states to enforce drunk driving statutes and mandatory adult and child safety restraint laws, to reinstating the state vehicle inspection law and the motorcycle helmet law, to investigate suicide behavior among adolescents, and to require educational programs in school athletic programs. With the exception of the motorcycle helmet law, Bruno says, all of the recommendations were implemented, and BIAC played a major role in lobbying in support of them.

Peter Bruno is currently serving on the board and on the Executive Committee of the Brain Injury Association of Colorado.

For more information or to contact the authors, visit

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