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June is Brain Injury Awareness Month

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   June 4, 2015 14:11
We are so excited the Government of Saskatchewan declared June Brain Injury Awareness month
in the province of Saskatchewan.


‪#‎areyouaware‬ ‪#‎braininjuryawarenessmonth‬ ‪#‎biam‬ ‪#‎skpoli

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Brain Injury Awareness Month

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   June 4, 2015 13:58
We are so excited the Government of Saskatchewan declared June Brain Injury Awareness month in the province of Saskatchewan. ‪#‎areyouaware‬ ‪#‎braininjuryawarenessmonth‬ ‪#‎biam‬ ‪#‎skpoli

Saskatchewan_sm.tif (363.96 kb)

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Connections: Summer 2014

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   July 16, 2014 20:21
 

The latest edition of Connections is ready for you!

We have an article about the 2014 Survivor & Family Camp at Arlington Beach Camp - you can find more photos from Camp on our Facebook Page.

We have partner features with BHP Billiton and Saskatchewan Blue Cross.

We have a report about Brain Injury Awareness Month powered by SK Blue Cross.

We also information about the upcoming Brain Boogie:

August 30th - Moose Jaw

September 6th - Saskatoon, Regina, and Yorkton

September 13th - Prince Albert

 

Download Newsletter: Connections - Summer 2014.pdf (1.86 mb)

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Newsletter

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month powered by Saskatchewan Blue Cross

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   May 29, 2014 13:26

Making the Invisible, Visible

For Immediate Release

Emilia Becker is a 19 year old brain injury survivor. But you wouldn’t know that if you met her because YOU CAN’T SEE A BRAIN INJURY.

That is the theme for the 2014 Brain Injury Awareness Month powered by Saskatchewan Blue Cross in June. It is also the theme of the poster recently released and distributed to hundreds of schools, municipalities, politicians and community groups in Saskatchewan.

Emilia was 11 years old when she acquired a brain injury. It was a sunny, fall day and she was riding in the school bus she had been taking daily for years. But that day the bus collided with a truck.

As a result, Emilia had to adjust to a new reality. She had to relearn basic skills. Simple tasks now took great concentration. Although she has been fortunate in regaining most of her skills, she is not the same person she was before her injury.

Emilia says she often wished she was wearing a cast on her head so that people would remember that she was living and working with a permanent injury – an invisible one, but no less challenging for its lack of visibility.

Emilia very eloquently describes her experience and how a brain injury can affect both an individual and her family. She drew a standing ovation from close to 400 people when she spoke at the annual BHP Billiton Brain Blitz Gala presented by WorkSafe Saskatchewan in Saskatoon last May. This summer, she is telling her story to groups around the province between June and August 2014 in order to raise awareness about brain injury.

Brain injury is the leading cause of disability and death among young people.

Unfortunately, the only cure for brain injury is prevention.

The Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association strives to prevent brain injuries and improve the quality of life for brain injury survivors and their families.

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For more information, please contact Glenda James at 306.692.7242.

Emilia Becker can be contacted for an interview at sbia.education@sasktel.net

Download the Full News Release: BIAM News Release 2014.pdf (130.73 kb)

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New Partnership with Saskatchewan Blue Cross

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   March 11, 2014 10:41

For Immediate Release

The Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association (SBIA) is excited to announce that Brain Injury Awareness Month will now be powered by Saskatchewan Blue Cross.

This partnership between SBIA and Saskatchewan Blue Cross will focus on bringing brain injury prevention to the forefront throughout Brain Injury Awareness Month in June. The announcement couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time, as brain organizations around the world are celebrating Brain Awareness Week (March 10-16).

“We’re proud to partner with the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association to increase awareness and promote prevention of brain injuries," says Todd Peterson, VP Sales and Marketing at Saskatchewan Blue Cross. "It's shocking to realize that brain injury is so prevalent - that thousands of people in SK are currently living with a brain injury disability. Our goal for this strategic partnership is to support the improved health and wellness of Saskatchewan residents, as we've been doing for over 65 years."

The Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association’s mandate is to prevent brain injuries through education and awareness, as well as to provide support to survivors of brain injuries and their families.

This new partnership will assist SBIA in sending educational packages to recreational centres, schools, communities and politicians with goal of educating as many people as possible about brain injuries. Prevention displays will be set up at fairs, tradeshows, arts and culture and sporting events throughout the summer. 

Prevention of brain injuries in sport will be highlighted at the annual BHP Billiton Brain Blitz Gala presented by WorkSafe Saskatchewan on May 3 at TCU Place which features Matt Dunigan as the keynote speaker.  Tickets are $150 and available at www.sbia.ca/brain-blitz.aspx.          

 

“We are getting our message out there – brain injuries are the number one killer and disabler of persons under 44. We are excited about the partnership with Saskatchewan Blue Cross. With their support we will be able to educate even more people during Brain Injury Awareness month in June,” said Glenda James, Executive Director of SBIA.

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For more information contact Glenda James: Phone: 306.692.7242 | Email: info_sbia@sasktel.net

 

Download Release: SBIA - March 11 News Release.pdf (342.12 kb)

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News

Concussions: Life or Death

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   May 27, 2013 11:05

Head Injury Game-Changer for Star Football Player

Story by: Joelle Tomlinson

 

Katie Miyazaki is all too familiar with what being hit in the head feels like. It’s not pleasant, it’s a danger in sports and it can have lasting consequences.

“Diagnosed concussions? I’ve had five that put me out for a few weeks each time,” said Miyazaki, all-star alumni of the University of Saskatchewan women’s basketball team and a former Valkyries football player. “The first one I got was when I was 12 and playing hockey. I ran into a girl. I got up, saw stars and had no idea what was happening, so I just kept playing. The next was one was about two years later in net, the third one was playing dodge ball in physical education.  I got blindsided by a ball . . . and the list goes on.”

Miyazaki almost always kept playing after the constant hits to the head. She has experienced headaches, dizziness and nausea, and only stopped playing tackle football last year after her worst concussion ever.

“This last one was in our Prairie Conference final against Regina, and I knew exactly where the hit was, and that I most likely had a concussion, but I just didn’t want to come out of the game. So I kept playing and I got hit again later in the same game,” said Miyazaki. “I was pretty sure I was concussed, but then the next day I woke up and was like, ‘Oh, I feel good!’ Then, the following day I woke up and I had never felt that sick before. I couldn’t leave my room, everything felt like it was spinning, I was nauseous, but yet part of me still wanted to play that week. If my trainers hadn’t said no, and if my coach hadn’t said no, I would have played, which is a pretty bad idea in retrospect.”

Dropping out of the game wasn’t an easy decision for Miyazaki. A star athlete, Miyazaki led the Huskies to a second-place finish in the CIS championships in 2011 and a sixth-place finish in 2012. After that, she transitioned into football, where she shone as a defensive back with the Valkyries, helping them during undefeated runs to the 2011 and 2012 Western Women’s Canadian Football League championships. Miyazaki also was picked as one of 92 players to attend the training camp for Team Canada. Those selected at the camp will represent Canada at the 2013 women’s world tackle football championships in New Brunswick.

“That’s definitely what hurt the most, and what I cried over the most. I had debated not playing football last summer, but then there was the whole Team Canada thing,” said Miyazaki. “When I found out about Team Canada, that’s what my whole summer was geared toward. I wanted to make it to that camp and make that team for this summer. It bummed me out when I knew I couldn’t play at the first camp, and I thought that dream was over. Then, I was invited to the second camp, and I was still wasn’t quite better by then. It sucks because it feels like you’re giving up on a dream, but at the same time you’re like ‘This is real life. I have a lot of other things.’ As cool as it would be, it’s life or death.”

Sometimes it is death. Last week, 17-year-old Rowan Stringer, a female rugby player in Ottawa, died after receiving a severe head injury in a game. Miyazaki says that lack of awareness is one of the biggest issues for young athletes, parents and coaches in cases like this.

“Athletes, they just want to play. The kids I coach, they always want to play and unless you tell them no, they’re going to keep going,” said Miyazaki. “Now, looking back at it, I think about how dumb it is, but in the heat of the moment you don’t think about it.

“There’s something called second impact syndrome. So if you get hit and you get a concussion— and this is very rare—but if you receive another blow and your head hasn’t fully healed, especially if you’re an adolescent, then you can die because there’s still so much swelling. That’s what happened in Ottawa. They’re saying she didn’t report any of her headaches or symptoms to her parents, but she had told some of her friends. There’s nothing they could really do in that case. It’s very sad.”

Now Miyazaki works to raise this awareness through working with the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association (SBIA). She is part of Take Brain Injury out of Play, a campaign within the association that strives to educate young athletes about the dangers of head injuries.

“We emphasize that if you’re going to respect your own brain, you’ve got to respect the brain of your opponents, too. Part of that is playing by the rules,” said Miyazaki. “My job is to try and promote that program and go out and make people aware of concussions, because I think a lot of people don’t realize how big of an issue it is. They don’t take it as seriously as it needs to be taken because you can’t see it, right?

“You look at someone and they look fine to you. If someone had a broken arm, you would never tell them to get back in the game, but if you look at someone and they just have a headache, people pressure them to get back in the game. This is something we need to stop as peers, coaches and parents.”

Miyazaki knows her football days are likely over. It’s not a guarantee, but neither is life.

“I decided not to play this year because it wasn’t worth it. Some days I still occasionally feel dizzy, which could be the concussions or my neck injury. It’s a hard thing; I know my parents don’t want me to play, and the thing is, they say once you’ve had one you’re so much more susceptible. That’s not good news for me.

“There are so many other things that I want to do in my life that to risk that and have to sit out for months again, just for one sport, isn’t really worth it to me.”

June is National Brain Injury Awareness month and Miyazaki hopes that, with the added education and conversation about head injuries, athletes start to realize the importance of protecting their brains. To learn more about Miyazaki, the SBIA or Take Brain Injury out of Play campaign, email Miyazaki at k.miyazaki@usask.ca or go to the SBIA website at www.sbia.ca.


Story from The Saskatoon Express

 

 

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