The heroes of brain injury are assembling for the BIST 5K Run, Walk and Roll on October 1st!
As we prepare for Race Day, BIST has selected a special superhero squad of amazing heroes of brain injury we will feature on a weekly basis until the big day.
Meet Judy the Just, #3 in our Heroes of Brain Injury Series!
Be sure to collect all six heroes!
Describe your work:
When I first started, I worked on the front line, providing direct support to clients and families. I have also worked at a system level, planning and advocating for better services for people with brain injuries both at BIST and the Toronto ABI Network.
Now I am a Senior Manager at CHIRS working with the best team of community workers ever assembled. This is the best job imaginable, I get to work with a group of people who are so dedicated to making a difference in the lives of people with a brain injury.
Day after day, I watch our team doing heroic (maybe super heroic) things to make life better for our clients – and sometimes they make sacrifices and take personal risk. That’s the very definition of a hero in my mind and I am extremely happy to be a small part of the work we do.
Why do you participate in the BIST 5K?
Actually, I am proud to say that I was one of the founders of the BIST 5K Run, Walk & Roll. I was on the board of directors at the time and we were looking for ways to raise funds for BIST. I was a newly converted runner so it seemed like the perfect fit. I recruited a small group of colleagues that I knew could make this happen and we launched the first run in 2011.
We didn’t really know what we were doing and were crossing our fingers for a break even result. We were thrilled when we contributed over $25,000 to BIST that first year. It is so rewarding to see this event grow year after year and I love the new Superhero theme.
What does being a hero of brain injury mean to you?
I am proud of the work I have done over the years, but it is nothing compared to the hard work that CHRIS’ clients and the members of BIST do every day. That’s why we do this work. How can one not be inspired when you attend a BIST community meeting and hear the stories of recovery following catastrophic injuries, watch friendships emerge and see people put aside their own challenges or difficulties to support someone else, or speak to families about their seemingly unlimited capacity for support and caring.
I am just a side-kick and am happy to play that role in any way that I can.
What is your favourite part about Race Day?
When I see people crossing the finish line with a huge smile on their faces – and it’s not the first ones across the finish line that I look forward to seeing.
And I love how the community comes together –all with the same purpose: to make money for BIST and raise the profile of brain injury.