The fifth annual Brain Injury Walk takes place at Mill Lake Park in Abbotsford on Saturday, June 15. (Photo: Dave Hildebrand/Communitas)

Fifth annual Brain Injury Walk in Abbotsford raises awareness

Event takes place Saturday, June 15 at Mill Lake Park

For most people, going for a walk doesn’t take a lot of thought or energy.

Yet for some who live with an acquired brain injury (ABI), that simple act can be a significant challenge.

On Saturday, June 15, dozens of people living with ABI – and those who love and support them – will take up that challenge and walk around Mill Lake in Abbotsford to raise awareness about brain injuries.

This fifth annual fundraising walk is organized by Communitas Supportive Care Society and the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association.

Raising funds is a component of the walk, but raising awareness is equally as important to those who are involved.

Dylan, who has lived with a brain injury since 2014, is looking forward to participating in the walk again this year.

He says the challenge of living with an ABI is that it can be an invisible illness.

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“People take a look at me and think I’m totally fine,” he explains. “I am not the same as I was before my accident. I am way better, but I still have things I have to work on.”

Dylan was struck by a car while walking to work. He suffered injuries to his leg and to his head. After weeks in an induced coma, he woke to discover that he couldn’t speak.

“The only word I could say was ‘blanket,’ ” he says. “I spent months in rehab to have to relearn how to walk and talk.”

Dylan continues to work with a team of therapists who have made a huge difference in his life.

Funds raised by Communitas participants will benefit the organization’s two drop-in programs in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

Amanda Lind, the manager of the Abbotsford Brain Injury Drop-In, says the funds raised at the walk help cover costs for extras like outings and other activities.

Last year’s event raised $1,900 for the drop-in, and the goal of the group this year is to exceed that amount.

A new component to this year’s event is a team costume option where groups of at least four will have the chance to dress up and win prizes for most creative costumes.

Dylan hopes that people in the community will support the walk.

“I hope that people will come out and see that, even though we live with brain injury, we are still active, having fun, living our lives,” he says. “We are all still human beings.”

The walk starts at 3 p.m. Those wanting to support the event can visit CommunitasCare.com/donate and designate their gift to the 2019 Brain Injury Walk.

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