Remarkable Ryan

The heroes of brain injury are assembling for the BIST 5K Run, Walk and Roll on October 1st!

As we prepare for Race Day, BIST has selected a special superhero squad of amazing heroes of brain injury we will feature on a weekly basis until the big day.

Meet Remarkable Ryan – #4 in our Heroes of Brain Injury Series.

Be sure to collect all seven heroes!

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How long have you been working in brain injury?

I have been working representing people with brain injury for over 10 years.

Describe your work.

As a personal injury lawyer, my job is to help people with brain injuries, caused by someone else’s negligence, recover the income that they have lost due to their brain injury and to ensure that they are compensated for their care costs.

Why do you participate in the BIST 5K?

I have been a big supporter of BIST for many years and I have been on the board of directors for the past four years. BIST is a fabulous organization that helps people in Toronto with brain injuries and their families by providing a variety of programs and services. The money raised at the BIST 5K goes a long way to providing those programs and services.

What does being a hero of brain injury mean to you?

It means working every day to help people who have suffered brain injuries while at the same time educating the general public about brain injuries and the devastating impact they can have on people who have suffered one.

What is your favourite part about Race Day?

It is a very fun event and not a competitive race. Many people bring their families and pets and they have activities there for the children. It is always a great chance to touch base with all of the people who are involved with BIST in a variety of ways.

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Join the Heroes of Brain Injury Squad – sign up for the BIST 5K Run, Walk and Roll TODAY!

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Judy the Just

The heroes of brain injury are assembling for the BIST 5K Run, Walk and Roll on October 1st!

As we prepare for Race Day, BIST has selected a special superhero squad of amazing heroes of brain injury we will feature on a weekly basis until the big day.

Meet Judy the Just, #3 in our Heroes of Brain Injury Series!

Be sure to collect all seven heroes!

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Describe your work:

When I first started, I worked on the front line, providing direct support to clients and families. I have also worked at a system level, planning and advocating for better services for people with brain injuries both at BIST and the Toronto ABI Network.

Now I am a Senior Manager at CHIRS working with the best team of community workers ever assembled.  This is the best job imaginable, I get to work with a group of people who are so dedicated to making a difference in the lives of people with a brain injury.

Day after day, I watch our team doing heroic (maybe super heroic) things to make life better for our clients – and sometimes they make sacrifices and take personal risk. That’s the very definition of a hero in my mind and I am extremely happy to be a small part of the work we do.  

Why do you participate in the BIST 5K?

Actually, I am proud to say that I was one of the founders of the BIST 5K Run, Walk & Roll.  I was on the board of directors at the time and we were looking for ways to raise funds for BIST. I was a newly converted runner so it seemed like the perfect fit. I recruited a small group of colleagues that I knew could make this happen and we launched the first run in 2011.

We didn’t really know what we were doing and were crossing our fingers for a break even result. We were thrilled when we contributed over $25,000 to BIST that first year. It is so rewarding to see this event grow year after year and I love the new Superhero theme.

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Judy the Just (with her sidekick dogs) and other members of the BIST 5K Run, Walk and Roll organizing committee in 2014

What does being a hero of brain injury mean to you?

I am proud of the work I have done over the years, but it is nothing compared to the hard work that CHRIS’ clients and the members of BIST do every day. That’s why we do this work.  How can one not be inspired when you attend a BIST community meeting and hear the stories of recovery following catastrophic injuries, watch friendships emerge and see people put aside their own challenges or difficulties to support someone else, or speak to families about their seemingly unlimited capacity for support and caring.

I am just a side-kick and am happy to play that role in any way that I can.

What is your favourite part about Race Day?

When I see people crossing the finish line with a huge smile on their faces – and it’s not the first ones across the finish line that I look forward to seeing.

And I love how the community comes together –all with the same purpose: to make money for BIST and raise the profile of brain injury.

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Join the Heroes of Brain Injury Squad – sign up for the BIST 5K Run, Walk and Roll TODAY!

 

Courageous Chris

The heroes of brain injury are assembling for the BIST 5K Run, Walk and Roll on October 1st!

As we prepare for Race Day, BIST has selected a special superhero squad of amazing heroes of brain injury we will feature on a weekly basis until the big day.

Meet Courageous Chris, son of Awesome Anne, and #2 in our Heroes of Brain Injury Series.

Be sure to collect all six heroes!

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Can you talk about how you acquired your brain injury?

Chris acquired his brain injury during a bike race – his first race ever – in 2010. He had just landed his dream job as head chef at a luxury hotel in Toronto, and had a five-year-old son, Jesse, at home. He and his mom, Anne, describe what happened:

Anne: His bike broke in two pieces. Christopher was lying on the ground. They didn’t have paramedics [at the race]. .. He was posturing. His feet were connected to the petals. He was still on the ground when his friends cycled past him.

Chris: My feet were hooked on to the half piece. Could you just imagine someone lying there, the first piece broken off? I have the frame still. I put all the pieces of that on to my rain bike. It’s only 15.5 lbs. and my broken frame is in my room behind my TV so I can’t look at it every day. It used to be on my balcony and I’d go out and look at it every day.

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Courageous Chris and Awesome Anne

How long have you been involved with BIST?

 I started going to the movies [this spring] because it’s away from home and that gave me the opportunity to go on a bus and get rid of my anxiety. 

Why do you participate in the BIST 5K?

I run everyday, and running with people will help [my] anxiety. I run everyday by myself no problem. But with a group, I have problems with groups.

[I’m running] to challenge myself. This is how I was going through cooking school to become a chef. It’s all about challenging yourself to see how far you can take it.

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Chris with his son Jesse

What does being a hero of brain injury mean to you?

I can accomplish. I can go forward.  Its all about going forward. It’s not slowing me down.

What are you looking forward to on Race Day?

I’m going to run as fast as I can and then [meet up with my mom] and walk the rest of it with [her].

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Join the Heroes of Brain Injury Squad – sign up for the BIST 5K Run, Walk and Roll TODAY!

 

 

 

 

Awesome Anne

The heroes of brain injury are assembling for the BIST 5K Run, Walk and Roll on October 1st!

As we prepare for Race Day, BIST has selected a special superhero squad of amazing heroes of brain injury we will feature on a weekly basis until the big day.

Meet Awesome Anne who is #1 in our Heroes of Brain Injury Series.

Be sure to collect all seven heroes!

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How long have you been involved with BIST?

I signed [my son] Chris up about a year ago, and we started coming with BIST to the movies in May.

Why do you participate in the BIST 5K?

Just to support BIST. I’m doing the AIDS Walk too. 

What does being a hero of brain injury mean to you?

I think that it’s important for all family members to support someone who has had something happen to them of a traumatic nature. It’s the same way we supported our [other] son when he came home and said he was HIV positive. So many of his friends, their parents kicked them out and didn’t want anything to do with them. 

But I also push Christopher to step out into the world and do things on his own. He knows that if he needs help I’m there, but I’m still going to push him to do the things that he would like me to do.

And I’m confident in his ability to even go out with [his son] Jesse and go places.

What are you looking forward to on the day of the 5K?

Just going out and having fun!

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Join the Heroes of Brain Injury Squad – sign up for the BIST 5K Run, Walk and Roll TODAY!