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Brain Train Ride Across Canada Kicks off Brain Injury Awareness Month

  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-06-03 (Rev. 2015-03-18) - Campaign to raise awareness of those living with ABI and of Canadas need for a National Injury Prevention Strategy as a way to reduce brain injuries. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Brain Injury Association of Canada at -.
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Ian Young cannot run, walk or ride across Canada. So Ian will ride Canada's national railroad.

Ian's journey began when he won a cross-country rail trip for two. This motivated him to broaden the experience by using it to support a cause he believes in.

Five years ago Ian was told he had three months to live. As an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) survivor, Ian will use his campaign to raise awareness of those living with ABI and of Canada's need for a National Injury Prevention Strategy as a way to reduce brain injuries which become lead to a variety of physical and mental disabilities.

Tonight (June 2nd) at 8 p.m., Ian will board a VIA Rail train out of Vancouver. The Brain Injury Association of Canada (BIAC) will hold special events across Canada highlighting his trip and the need for Brain Injury Awareness. Canada's top political leaders have also been invited to join Ian's historic journey.

Ian kicked off his journey at the Northern Alberta Brain Injury Society breakfast in Edmonton on Friday, May 29th where 300 people gathered to wish Ian a successful journey and to thank him for this tremendous initiative. BIAC would like to acknowledge and thank VIA Rail for their support of Ian's ride across Canada.

The cost of preventable injury is putting Canadian Business at an economic disadvantage and lowering the standard of living for all Canadians. Canada's publicly funded health care system is Canada's number one wonder of Canada's built environment.

Unless we invest in a National Injury Prevention Program our public funded health care system is a risk.

Head injury is the leading killer of males under the age of 35

Extreme sport is fueling a Canadian head injury epidemic.

Brain Injury is Canada's invisible epidemic. It is the leading killer and disabler of Canadians in the prime of their lives and kills more youth and young adults than all other causes combined. Injury also places a tremendous economic burden on this country estimated at $14.7 billion annually in direct and indirect costs.

Injury has historically been overlooked as a health care issue, consistently taking a back seat to far lesser health threats. This is due in part to the common belief that injuries are "accidents" that can be neither anticipated nor prevented. Like diseases, however, most injuries follow a distinct pattern and are, therefore, both predictable and preventable. Where evidence-based prevention measures have been introduced, significant reductions in disability and loss of life have resulted. The dramatic success of mandatory seat belt and bicycle helmet laws are two such examples.

Despite this evidence, Canadian policy-makers and the public remain largely unaware of the human and economic burden associated with preventable injury and the many effective ways that this can be reduced. As a result, one of Canada's most critical health problems remains largely un-addressed. In our current struggle to contain rising health care costs and ensure the sustainability of Canada's public health care system, policy-makers can no longer afford to ignore injury prevention; it is one of the most promising means to significantly reduce hospitalizations, wait times, and related health care costs without compromising the accessibility and quality of care that Canadians want.

Reference: For further information: Richard Kinar, Board Member of the Brain Injury Association of Canada, (604) 910-2435; Harry Zarins, Executive Director, Brain Injury Association of Canada, 1-819-777-2492, harry.zarins@biac-aclc.ca





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