[dropcap]H[/dropcap]How often have you met people who suffered a catastrophic brain injury, maybe one that forced them to leave their old life behind, and wondered what you could say or do to help? Richmond resident and activist Robert Wein has a way for you to help. Support his 7th Annual Brain Injury Awareness Walk on June 3rd at Andrew Haydon Park and you will be helping!
You can help in other ways too. Robert, a source of great advice for anyone feeling awkward around persons with challenges, states “If you see someone doing something and you think it’s strange, please just ask, ‘Can I help you?’ ”
He is an inspiration to anyone who knows him. His self described story is about “how the lemonade that I’m making from the lemons that I was served is pretty awesome!” That in itself speaks volumes about Robert’s attitude given the challenges he has confronted.
While talking with the HUB about doing a story Robert quickly brought it into focus:
“What I’d love is for a story that reflects that good came from the bad, both people and corporate, and I’d love for everyone to come to the walk to celebrate.”
The good that Robert is talking about is what comes from the tireless work he does in support of public education and awareness of Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI). Robert who you can find on twitter @HitOnTheBrain, started his own foundation The Never Stop Foundation (For Brain Injury Awareness), a non-profit organization focused on providing public awareness and education about Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI). He also partners with StopConcussions.com, a Not-For-Profit formed by his friend Kerry Goulet and brothers Wayne and Keith Primeau, both ex NHL players. Brain injuries can be visible or invisible. Both organizations promote brain injury awareness, prevention and treatment. Talking with Robert you realize very quickly that despite the daily challenges he faces he is a man on a mission! One initiative Robert looks forward to every year with a great deal of passion is his walk for ABI awareness.
The growth of his annual walk, how it supports others, the generosity of individual and corporate contributors and the help provided to others scores as a “a lot of good from bad”. Sponsors such as Connolly Obagi LLP are key to the event as is every participant. Robert notes in particular Richmond area corporate supporters Danby’s Restaurant, King’s Independent and Tim Horton’s as being second to none. Thanks to their corporate generosity, it’s possible to walk for free, all that’s needed is that walkers collect $30 in pledges. If they’d prefer to simply donate the $30 or another amount, then that’s also possible!
In a previous life, Robert Wein was a computer specialist, triathlete and scuba diver. A driver plowed into him and four other cyclists on a March Road bike lane on the morning of July 19, 2009. That horrific crash is often referred to as the “Kanata 5” crash and marks the beginning of Roberts new life. You can read more about Robert, the road he has traveled and the remarkable man he is in the articles below:
But the focus of this article isn’t Robert, it is about taking the initiative to support others through supporting the Annual Brain Injury Awareness Walk.
Robert recognizes that he could not have made the progress he has without the help of numerous individuals and programs that target their efforts towards assisting people with injuries such as his. The proceeds from the walk support a charity very important to Robert, Pathways to Independence, a non-profit agency that specializes in supporting people with disabilities. Pathways to Independence was a key organization that helped Robert regain his independence. The organization provides that “little bit extra” to those who would like to participate in community activities and events, but are unable to due to finances.
Robert’s walk for Pathways to Independence is his way of giving back for what he received. The walk is now 7 years old, has had over 300 different people attend and has raised well over $100,000 for the charity.
There is a challenge built into this walk too. From the website describing the walk:
“An Acquired Brain Injury has a clear beginning, as will the walk, but as an ABI doesn’t have an end, neither will the walk. We’ll walk around the park, where you’ll learn about some of the challenges faced by individuals who’ve suffered one. And, as the walk won’t “finish”, there won’t be a finish line. There will be a “Celebration Line”, where people will be asked to cross the 500m leading to it in a way that’s more challenging.”
Come out for a good cause and a good walk. Participate as an individual or better yet get a group together! The walk-site is: http://raceroster.com/14376 and the PROMO code to walk by pledges is PLEDGE.
Download PDF Forms here that you can print: