Ontario Brain Injury Awareness Month

Posted on June 8, 2011

picture of previous years walk.June is Brain Injury Awareness month in Ontario.  Dale Brain Injury Services has a couple of events planned to help raise awareness (and funds) in the community.
Distance for Dale (D4D) was held on Sunday June 5th, a beautiful day for a motorcycle ride along the lake, followed by a fabulous lunch. The riders had the opportunity to learn about brain injuries, the programs here at Dale, and raise funds to contribute to the Client Subsidy Fund which provides resources for clients on fixed incomes, who are unable to afford equipment and supplies, minor repairs, leisure activities etc.
On June 25th at Springbank Gardens we will be holding our third annual “Heads Up” Walkathon. Walk, Wheel or Jog  1, 2.5, 5 or 10 km.  The event is from 9-11 a.m.  Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.  Last year we doubled both our number of walkers and the donations received.  Perhaps we can triple this year!
Why do we need an Awareness month? Those of us who work with people living with the effects of an acquired brain injury are so immersed in the issues and concerns of our clients day to day, that we sometimes don’t realize that not everybody is!  These days everyone is very busy and highly aware of their own world and the areas of concern in it, however rarely look ‘outside’ that world unless someone brings it to their attention, or there is a personal circumstance which leads them there.
Acquired Brain Injury is the leading cause of death and disability for Canadians under the age of 45. A brain injury is often seen as the ‘silent epidemic’ as the official statistics underestimate the size of the problem.  A brain injury can do significant damage without leaving any visible signs, so the initial injury is often dismissed as just a bump on the head.  Although therapies can help people adjust and learn different skills to cope with the changes, it does not repair the damage.  Moderate and Severe brain injuries have a profound and disabling impact on most survivors. As well the effects of brain injuries are devastating both emotionally and financially to the survivor, their families and friends.  Brain injury is forever.
We have seen a lot of media coverage over the last few months about sports injuries and concussions having a tremendous impact on the career of athletes.  This has certainly heightened the awareness of brain injuries, although still many people do not relate that concussions are brain injuries, and can have lasting repercussions on the lives of those affected.  For someone like Sydney Crosby’s talent to be missing from the NHL for the last half of the season may certainly have had an effect on the outcome for his Team. Many other players have also suffered from the longer term effects of concussions and are speaking out regarding hits in hockey, equipment needs etc.
With our Awareness activities we hope to educate the public about the effects of brain injury; about Dale, our programs and services; our clients’ need for additional funds; and, most importantly the need for prevention.  In many cases a brain injury can be avoided!
I hope to see all of you at our Walkathon at Springbank (Wonderland) Gardens on June 25th. Come out to learn more about brain injuries and support our participants who will be walking to ensure that we all have our “Heads Up”!!