MBIA newly-reinstated board member Val Bergeron delivered a speech to the Winnipeg City Council to commemorate JUNE IS BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS MONTH.
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Brain injury can happen to anyone. Yes.. age has no bearing on brain injury. It can happen because of a vehicle accident, a bicycle accident, a boat accident, a fall, a sports injury, an aneurysm, where a blood vessel bursts in your brain, a fight.. anything where your brain , that wonderful mechanism inside our skull is injured.
Brain injury is a real and can happen at any age. It could happen to you. I want you to think about your own life… what you are good at.. the salary you earn, the friends you have, your ability to do the things you do each day.. your hobbies, your work, playing with your family and friends. Now imagine that on the way home tonight or tomorrow, or on that drive to the lake you so enjoy going to, imaging that in a moment of time, all that is taken away from you…
In my case, I did not engage in dangerous driving, did not take risks and engage in a risky behaviour. No, I had a blood vessel in my brain that had a malformation to be born, she was delivered with forceps only. The doctors did not want to do a C-section as they felt the recovery time would be too long. After our child was born, I was allowed a few weeks to recover and then had to go in for brain surgery to repair the AVM. Either from the second bleed or the surgery, I have been left with a brain injury. I have a very poor short term memory and have a lot of difficulty with organizing and following up with what I have said, because I cannot remember what I said. Because of this, I have been unable to return to my work as a classroom teacher. I have forced to “RETIRE”. My daughter turned 31 in April this year, and so I have been retired for that many years. All the dreams I had as a young teacher and in my role as a mother sure tool a different route in my life.
My life story is only one of the many stories of survival from brain injury. Because of my association with the Manitoba Brain Injury community, I have been able to feel that I still belong and can contribute to helping others who have suffered brain injuries. I can help them, and their families cope with how their lives are different and life yes even give them hope that life for may be different for them but their lives are still worthwhile. Our brain injury association works hard to give brain injury survivors and their families hope and support each and everyday. It is something they need, it is something everyone need to feel a part of society..