More than one million people in Canada are living with a brain injury, and that number increases daily.
During Brain Injury Awareness Month powered by Saskachewan Blue Cross, The Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association is putting a face to this epidemic through posters, events, and social media using the hashtag, #IamTheFaceofBrainInjury.
Hailey Harms is one of those faces. When asked what she would like the public to know about brain injury, 19 year old Hailey stated, “That it can happen to absolutely anybody, your neighbour, your mother, your daughter. All ages. Anyone.”
When Hailey was 16 years old, her competitive skating career was cut short after she suffered too many concussions. Doctors told her she would never be able to skate again. The risk of a more serious brain injury and severe consequences was just too great. Hailey’s hopes and dreams for a skating career were crushed.
Hailey’s high school friend, Evan Wall, experienced a more severe brain injury through another common cause, a car accident. When Hailey escorted Evan at his 2014 high school graduation, he was heading to the University of Saskatchewan to study engineering. Three years later, he is working very hard to regain his ability to talk and walk. He dreams of returning to university and engineering but his future is yet unclear.
Two talented young people from the same rural Saskatchewan community. Two brain injuries. Two different causes. Two different outcomes.
Hailey is a part of the national 2017 Brain Injury Awareness month campaign and with Evan, a video series to be released on You Tube in mid-June, using their experience to help others prevent brain injury – its only cure.
Brain injury is the NUMBER ONE cause of death and disability WORLDWIDE among children, youth and those under age 44.
The Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association is a charitable organization that strives to prevent brain injuries and to improve the lives of survivors and their families. Visit www.sbia.ca for more.