As many of you know, we’re saying goodbye to our longtime programs and services coordinator, Kat Powell, this week as she heads off to school in another province. Over the past eight years, Kat has been the heart of BIST, and has helped us become what we are today. We’ll miss you Kat, and we wish you the very best … Continue reading O’ Mentor, my mentor: thank you Kat
BY: MARK KONING Whether you are a survivor or caregiver to someone with a brain injury, it is sometimes quite difficult to find a confidant that you can feel comfortable talking with when it comes to issues such as the stresses, emotional trauma or everyday hardships that can be inflicted upon one’s life. An individual can … Continue reading Talking it out: ABI survivor and caregiver stress
BY: MARK KONING I recently went through a re-training session to once again become a mentor in BIST’s peer support program. It felt good, returning to a cause that is both helpful and important. After a two-year stint as a peer mentor, I needed a break. Now, a year and a half later, I am stepping up to the plate again and returning to … Continue reading Coming back to BIST’s peer support program
BY: MARK KONING As Valentine’s Day approaches, love is (supposedly) in the air, but what does that mean to a brain injury survivor? Personally, I’m not a Cupid fan favourite. Are my feelings brain injury related? I don’t know. The thought of recognizing a shared love with close family and friends basically sits well with me. But the celebration of … Continue reading The headache and heartache of romance
BY: MARK KONING In 1978, when I was six years of age, I was admitted to the hospital with a viral brain infection, known as encephalitis. Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain, caused either by an infection invading the brain (infectious) or through the immune system attacking the brain in error (post-infectious or autoimmune encephalitis). … Continue reading Brain injury in the family: then and now
By: MARK KONING June is brain injury awareness month and the fact that a focus is being put on this acquired disability is wonderful! I think it is great to have a time frame where a lifelong injury, such as brain injury, is put forward so that it is a little more prominent in people’s minds. … Continue reading What does brain injury ‘awareness’ mean anyway?
BY: MARK KONING I have found Art to be a great therapy tool. I say that with a capital ‘A’ because I am referring to all forms of Art, from singing to painting, dancing to acting. For me, writing is something I use as my coping mechanism and support for understanding. Writing is my learning … Continue reading The Heart of Art
BY: MARK KONING I am a writer who happens to have a brain injury. I am an ABI Survivor who is also a writer. I am both. Overall, I am a creative person, but my niche is writing. I love playing the role of storyteller and unravelling a tale of the imagination. I have written … Continue reading The Mighty Pen
BY: MARK KONING Isn’t that how the song goes? “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” But for some I think you could easily substitute wonderful with stressful or depressing. The days surrounding Christmas can be both joyful and stressful for many individuals who are out there listening to festive songs while fighting through … Continue reading How I handle the holidays as an ABI survivor
BY: MARK KONING Regardless of public figures, such as Tracy Morgan, sustaining a brain injury from a car accident this past June, awareness (in my opinion) has not shone on this life threatening and/or life changing disability enough. I recall back in 2009 when film actress Natasha Richardson had a ski accident where she fell. She complained … Continue reading Will Tracy Morgan’s brain injury lead to more TBI awareness?