Nationwide run for brain injury awareness coming through Golden

David McGuire is running across Canada to raise brain injury awareness

  • Nov. 1, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Running a marathon a day, and a total of 7,230 km, is a monumental accomplishment for anyone, but especially for a Kelowna man who was told he would never walk again.

David McGuire suffered from a subdural hematoma (brain bleed) in 2005. He woke up in the hospital after being unconscious for seven days, with no recollection of how he got there.

His doctors told him he may never walk again, so he decided to run instead. On April 1, McGuire started running from St. Johns N.L., commencing his “A Run to Remember.” By the time he finishes in Victoria B.C., he will have run an estimated 7230 km.

The objective of “A Run to Remember”, is to raise awareness about the seriousness of brain injuries, and importance of prevention. Every year more than 170,000 Canadians incur a brain injury, which equates to one every three minutes.

According to the “A Run to Remember” website, there are more than one million Canadians living with some sort of disability that resulted from a brain injury, even though 90 per cent of traumatic brain injuries are preventable.

“It’s the problems that arise after the injury, the daily living skills, not being able to work, families having to deal with the fact that this person is now somehow ‘different.’ Those are the major problems that people with brain injuries are dealing with,” said Debbie Gudjonson, Columbia Valley outreach worker with the East Kootenay Brain Injury Association.

“It means a lot that David is doing a run like this. It really is about awareness and prevention.”

On his website, McGuire explains why he feels so strongly about helping people understand about brain injuries.

“When I talk to the professionals about my needs I get lots of head shakes and understanding. However, I never feel that anyone has a true understanding, I mean, I never did. It took sustaining a brain injury for me to realize what a disconnect there is.

“The run will bring awareness and understanding to the issue of brain injury so that the next ‘David McGuire’ won’t have to fall through the cracks like so many of us have.”

McGuire will be running through Golden on Thursday Nov. 3. He will be meeting some locals, including the Golden Rockets at the Canyon’s Edge at 4 p.m., They will be joining him as he runs through town, to the arena, where he will be giving a talk at 5 p.m.

Anyone who wishes to run with him can join him at the Canyon’s Edge, or anywhere along the route to the arena, which will be on the pedestrian path that runs along side the highway. There are also donation boxes set up for his cause at Home Hardware, Sobeys, Tru Hardware, and Fields.