Royal Purple members take on brain injuries

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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There aren’t enough programs and services available to people who endure brain injuries and their families.

 

Saskatchewan Royal Purple Association president Sandi Lougheed joins Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association executive director Glenda James in signing a partnership between the two organizations. 

This, Elaine Perkins said, is why a recent partnership between the Saskatchewan Royal Purple Association and the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association – called “BrainLove” --is important.

“It’s a lifelong injury,” she said. “In our medical system, we need support from a lot of the therapists, whether it be speech, physiotherapy, occupational -- the list just goes on and on.”

Perkins bridges the gap between the two organization, serving as district deputy for the Prince Albert Order of the Royal Purple and as a volunteer with the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association.

As such, she’s thrilled about the partnership and looks forward to raising money and awareness throughout March.

In the lead up to the March 3 fundraiser launch, members of both organizations are lining up businesses to help raise funds for the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association, be it through tins set on the counter or cashiers asking customers for pledges.

All money raised will go toward supporting those living with brain injuries, as well as their families, Perkins said -- “To help them go to camps, to go to retreats, but also to bring awareness into the communities of what brain injury actually is and how to prevent it.”

Although proper helmet use is an important component when it comes to public education, Perkins clarified that it’s not only hits to the head that result in brain injury, but “anything that stops oxygen to the brain.”

Strokes, drug and alcohol use, shaking baby syndrome, concussion, drowning -- “there is such a variety,” she said.

Those living with brain injuries need more support all of the time.

She said that her grandson is living in a nursing home at the age of 21, after experiencing a brain injury at the age of 16.

“He knows he doesn’t belong with those elderly people,” Perkins said. “The services aren’t there … Once the medical system can’t do any more for you, you’re basically on your own and you need that support.”

Prince Albert has a monthly support group, where up to 17 people gather once a month to discuss brain injury-centred issues.

Although it’s a useful service, more of this type of work is needed, Perkins said.

“We have some coming from Nipawin, we have a gal coming from Spiritwood, and that’s a long ways for them to drive,” she said. “We need more support groups, and we just need, need, need!”

The public is invited to attend a BrainLove kickoff event at the Prince Albert Inn on March 3 at 2 p.m., during which Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association executive director Glenda James will speak.

For more information on the BrainLove effort, visit the program’s official web page, online at www.sbia.ca/brainlove.aspx

Organizations: Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association, Saskatchewan Royal Purple Association, Prince Albert Inn

Geographic location: Nipawin, Spiritwood

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