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Mind Over Matter

Communitas Supportive Care Society and the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association have teamed up to host a fundraising walk on June 17th at Mill Lake in Abbotsford. The walk is an opportunity to raise funds but more importantly it’s an opportunity to raise awareness about brain injuries and the people who live with them.

“People don’t know much about brain injuries and this is a chance to help people understand what can happen,” says Dylan, who has lived with a brain injury since 2014 when he was struck by a car while crossing a street.

Dylan is one of several people who regularly attend the Abbotsford Brain Injury Drop In at Communitas. He has participated in the Abbotsford Brain Injury Walk in the past and says the highlight of the event was just being around so many supportive people. He enjoys coming to the Drop In for the same reason. It is a place for those who live with a brain injury to gather together for support and friendship.

Amanda Lind, the manager of the Brain Injury Drop In, says the funds raised at the walk will help cover costs for extras like outings, pizza parties and other activities. Their goal is to raise $1000. She is proud of the way that members have embraced this opportunity to bring attention to the challenges with which they are faced.

Joy Scobie, FVBIA facilitator, Kathleen, a participant in the Brain Injury Drop In at Communitas, and Carol Paetkau, the FVBIA executive director enjoyed last year’s walk despite the rain

“For some of our members, doing this walk is a significant challenge because of the physical limitations that they live with,” she says. “But they are determined to do this because they know they can help erase the stigma around brain injury.”

Glen, who has been part of the Brain Injury Drop In for several years, says the fundraising walk is a great opportunity for exercise, for getting out in the fresh air and sunshine and to be together with others. For him, the challenge is getting pledges for the walk.

“Asking people for pledges means that I have to tell people I need help,” he says. “For people with an invisible disability, it can be hard to explain.”

Blair agrees. Blair had a stroke four years ago that has affected both his brain and his body. He says it’s important for people to know that improvement is possible as long as you’re determined and have a lot of support around you. When asked if it’s a case of ‘mind over matter’, his response is immediate.

“Yes!”

The three friends are looking forward to the event, which will also include a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association, which helps provide resources to programs like those at Communitas. Participants in the walk will also enjoy a BBQ and a chance to socialize with each other and with those who come out to support them.

The 2017 Abbotsford Brain Injury Awareness Walk takes place Saturday, June 17th at Mill Lake in Abbotsford, starting at 2:30 pm. If you would like to participate, please RSVP to Amanda at alind@CommunitasCare.com by Monday, June 12th.

Those who would like to support this event by making a donation are encouraged to visit our donate page and designate their giving to the 2017 Abbotsford Brain Injury Walk.

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