While taking a Social Entrepreneurship class at Okanagan College in 2019, I was introduced to a not-for-profit organization called “BrainTrust Canada” based out of Kelowna, BC. This organization has a number of programs, all centred around rehabilitation, prevention, and education of brain injury. Some of the services they can provide to those suffering from traumatic brain injury include: life skills support, clinical counselling, group programs, youth concussion clinic, NeuroRecovey center, as well as youth, schools, and family brain injury education.
This cause is meaningful to me as I have had to deal with concussion and brain injury on a personal level. In high school, I suffered a concussion which derailed my life for the better part of two years, and has trailed me until this day. I had to stop playing football, freestyle skiing, and any high impact sports as a result. I managed to play one year of baseball at the collegiate level before I had to retire from that as well, due to the inability to perform the way I knew I could, as a result of debilitating post concussion symptoms. Sports had been my identity for the entirety of my life unto that point. They were the foundation of which my morals, relationships, and work ethic were built upon. I was lost as to who I was if I could not compete at the level that I knew I was capable of/ wanted to be performing at. I had support from my family, but it was a very nerve racking and unsettling time for us all. I ended up finding a concussion manager who treated me and managed all my symptoms, telling me what I needed to do to get my life back in order. If I didn’t have this individual in my life, I don’t know if I would have ever found my way out of the sheer darkness that was cast over me due to the concussions. That is why in my eyes, BrainTrust Canada’s Youth Concussion Clinic is an absolute necessity. These youth and their families need nothing more than proper guidance and treatment in a time of such stress and unknowingness.
Youth Concussion Clinic
“Specialized youth concussion care to help the return to activities at home, school, and play happen more quickly and safely. BrainTrust Youth Concussion Clinic offers a medically supervised approach to helping children and youth ages 5 to 25 heal safely from concussion, so they can get back to the sports and activities they love. We provide families with the one-to-one guidance, information, tools, and reassurance they need. We also offer access to clinical counselling as needed.” – BrainTrust Canada.
- Immediate access to concussion clinician – no waiting in line for an appointment
- Thorough intake assessment: medical/concussion history, comprehensive symptom analysis, cognitive and neurological screening
- File review by concussion physician who collaborates with clinician to create recovery plan
- Symptom checks and strategies for managing concussion symptoms during recovery
- Clearance from a physician when youth can safely return to learn/work and play
The cost to provide one child with the Youth Concussion recovery program is $453CAD. Donations raised go towards helping the youth and families who cannot afford to pay for this program get the help that they so desperately need in a very concerning and uncertain time. I am grateful for each and every day that I am free of concussion symptoms, because I know how vastly different the perspective of reality can feel while being plagued with a shadow of constant, pain, anxiety, fear, and uncertainty of the future. If I can use my body while it is healthy to assist youth who need help, but can’t afford to get it, then I’m going to fight until I physically can’t anymore. To learn more about the Youth Concussion Clinic at BrainTrust Canada, click HERE.
I have set a goal for myself to contribute to this organization as I believe in their mandate and business model. I hope to raise $5000CAD during my full Lake Okanagan, record attempting swim, to directly assist the Youth Concussion Clinic at BrainTrust Canada. I truly hope you consider donating, or spreading the word to any friends or family who you think may be interested. If you have had a brain injury, it is easier to relate to these struggles. If you have not, I encourage you to just put yourself in a scenario of which you feel tired beyond belief, with a shooting light sensitivity, a mental fogginess of which you can’t escape, a constant pressure head ache behind the eyes that never lets up, the shame and humiliation of not being able to perform simple tasks in your life which are normally routine, the pressure to act like everything is ok due to the fact that other individuals don’t understand or relate to your struggles, and finally, the changing of your personalty over time as a result of the constant stress and emotional fatigue.
If you would like to donate, you can do so by visiting my BrainTrust Canada fundraising page HERE, or by clicking the donate box.