TBI patient Nirali Chauhan and her therapist Renee Keefer


Daily Herald Profiles Patient Competing on “The Great American Baking Show”


The Daily Herald recently published a profile of Nirali Chauhan — a Chicago resident, medical student and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab outpatient.

In 2015, Nirali sustained injuries to her spine and head when she was hit by a car. At first, she returned to college and life activities. However, over time, lingering medical issues like fatigue worsened. She eventually sought out treatment at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab for a traumatic brain injury.

Because baking was one of Nirali’s hobbies, her physical therapists, Carolyn Sykes and Renee Keefer, encouraged her to pretend to bake as part of her therapy. Her interest in baking increased when, after the murder of George Floyd in 2020, she was inspired by Bakers Against Racism and raised funds for The Chicago Community Bond Fund by baking and selling hundreds of cookies.

Now, she is one of the nine contestants on The Great American Baking Show, which is available for streaming on the Roku Channel beginning Friday, May 5.

Photo above: Nirali (left) and Renee

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