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David McGuire Finishing up His Cross-Country Run

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   December 8, 2011 12:00

A man from New Westminster has been running a marathon a day since April to raise awareness about brain injuries.

In 2005 David McGuire woke up in hospital, nine days after taking a simple bath. He says no one really knows what happened.

"That's the last thing I remember," he says. "So what we know, well, what happened was I either slipped and fell in the bathtub and hit my head causing my brain to bleed more, or my brain started to bleed causing me to lose consciousness."

Frustrated with the lack of support for people recovering from brain trauma, the 38-year-old decided to take control.

McGuire began to run about 10 km a day, which he says was the only thing he could do on his own.

Fast forward six years and McGuire is on the last leg of a cross-country run to get people talking.

"To me it's starting that conversation, like what seatbelts were like when we were kids. You didn't legally have to wear seatbelts so it's changing the dialogue to get it to the point where you buy a bike, you do the stuff, you have a helmet.

"It's doing simple things," McGuire stresses. "Like putting on a helmet or telling someone if you hit your head that will make all the difference."

He plans to finish his run on Dec. 9 at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria.

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Running for Brain Injury

posted by SK Brain Injury    |   October 16, 2011 18:02

The journey of a thousand miles began with a man on a mission and one foot in front of the other.   

David McGuire has hit the ground running in the Run to Remember fundraising campaign. The B.C. native has joined forces with non-profit organization BrainTrust Canada to raise money and awareness for prevention strategies and to develop supports for Canadians living with brain injury.

“This is probably our biggest awareness and fundraising campaign that we’ve taken on, in a national sense,” said Melissa Wild, run manager with BrainTrust Canada. “Brain injury needs to be more in the public eye and there needs to be better funding.”

While donations are being pledged daily, Wild said proceeds raised are upwards of $60,000.

“The public awareness and public response has been really great. They’re really picking up on it.”

According to BrainTrust Canada 483 people per day suffer a brain injury. It is the leading cause of death and disability in those under 45.

McGuire says inspiration for the cross-country run came from his own brain injury sustained in 2005.

Brain injury survivor David McGuire is running across Canada to raise awareness and funds for brain injury prevention and support. McGuire, 38, departed St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 1 and hopes to reach his destination, Victoria, B.C., by December. Photo by Andrea Nicholl

“I went to our local brain association and they had closed down. I walked home literally crying because there were a lot of people who were much more disabled than I was and I just wanted to do anything I could to help.”

It is unclear whether McGuire suffered a stroke, brain bleed or hit to the head, but after seven days of unconsciousness he awoke to a hospital room, a body full of tubes and the absence of memory.

McGuire was told by medical professionals that he may never be able to walk again, but soon after began running to speed his recovery. In 2006, one year after his brain injury, McGuire completed his first marathon.

While the 38-year-old has been rehabilitated, his short term memory has never been restored. The Run to Remember campaign name holds special significance and reflects the memory problems and challenges that affect those faced with brain injury. 

McGuire struggles with remembering simple tasks such as putting on his shoes, setting his training watch or finding his way home.

“If I don’t shave my head, you don’t see the scar down the side of my head and you just think I’m a weird guy that walked into your store and can’t remember what he’s there for.”

McGuire began his Trans-Canada journey in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 1. Seven months into the run, he says he hopes to reach his final destination, Victoria, B.C., by the end of December. With cooperative weather and flat lands, McGuire says the Saskatchewan leg of his journey has been an “extraordinary” one. 

“I totally love it. Being out here- it’s stunning. I’ve never been here before and I’m blown away. It’s really beautiful out here.”

For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.runtormemeber.com or text “brain” to 45678 to contribute $5 to the campaign.

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