Mayor John Tory Proclaims June Brain Injury Awareness Month, on June 14th The CN Tower will be lit Green and Blue for Brain Injury Awareness
Alarmingly, 500 000 Canadians acquire brain injuries each year, and the numbers are on the rise. While the symptoms of brain injury are devastating, many of them are hidden.
Brain injury advocate Celia Missios knows this all too well. Ten years ago, a car struck Missios as she crossed the street, nearly claiming her life and leaving her in a coma for six and a half weeks.
“If you pass me on the street you would not think I was any different than the average gal,” Missios said. “What you don’t see is the anxiety I feel when there are multiple activities going around me, or
how I need to pace myself so fatigue doesn’t overtake my life.”
To shed light on this hidden disability, this month:
- Mayor John Tory proclaimed June Brain Injury Awareness Month in Toronto
- The CN Tower and 3D Toronto Sign will be green and blue for brain injury awareness on June 14th
- Members of the Brain Injury Society of Toronto (BIST) have created a 45 second video for social media distribution, Not Replaceable, which compares living with a brain injury to having to use a broken cell phone for the rest of your life.
Missios is one of the brain injury survivors who developed the concept of Not Replaceable.
“It was a ‘no brainer!’” Missios said. “People often refer to the mobile phone as their brain! So imagine if the phone stopped functioning as they had come to know it and rely on.”
Melissa Vigar, the executive director of the Brain Injury Society of Toronto, agrees.
“Issues that survivors of brain injury can face include fatigue, memory impairments, cognitive communication issues, misbalance, dizziness, sensory issues and impulse control. This can affect one’s ability to work, socialize, drive and manage activities and can put relationships, finances and even housing into jeopardy,” Vigar said. “One of the issues our survivors face is that from the outside they look as though nothing has changed so they encounter difficulties explaining why they aren’t working or socializing. We have members who use accessible parking permits and feel judged by the community because they cannot see a physical disability.”
Ms. Missios and Ms. Vigar are available for interview.
Melissa Vigar, Executive Director
Brain Injury Society of Toronto