Speaking with Kessie

Kessie Hi, my name is Kessie. I was out tubing with my kids when the worst of the worst happened.   I suffered my brain injury then, I’d share what happened, but I don’t remember anything about it. I’ll use the terms of “before” and “after” because of what my injury did. The “before” me brought my son James to his karate classes, and all three kids to gymnastics. I also played with them, a lot, outside and entertained friends at home, often. The “after” me isn’t able to do what the “before” me did, and it annoys me, quite a bit.  The damage to my brain affects the left-side of my body, which means that I’m less physically able to do what I used to do.
I’ve been working hard on my walking.  I’m able to walk around the house, being able to use a walker so that I’m able to rise from the wheelchair, and walk.   I’ve got my eyes on being able to play with my kids, more than simply watching them, to be able to volunteer (somewhere), and do more independently.  I’m looking into a tricycle, which will enable me to ride with others, and feel liberated. I feel that it’s important to be surrounded by helpful, and supportive people, who help to bring out the best. I feel that being positive is important, and to harness your inside-energy to help yourself do more.

Walk Wrap-Up

When I started the walk, four years ago, I was in a slump.  I felt useless, missed my job, and hated the fact that the accident happened.  I’m not really sure why I’d thought of a walk, but that’s what it was.  I had huge visions for it, it was global right off the mark, but I paid for everything, and it raised $936.  I wasn’t one to give up, which was contrary to how I’d felt of myself, so it happened the next year.  However, I knew that I couldn’t do it alone, I asked for help, and it was better.  This year, the fourth walk, was such a phenomenal success that I found myself not missing my work as I used to, because my new job has given to me a significantly higher degree of job-satisfaction.  The walk happened in Ottawa and Belleville, the totals aren’t final yet, but the walk had over 300 people hearing the message, and over $30,000 raised for Pathways,

Looking up

I’m not looking back, or down, because it would be pointless to.   I was hit by the minivan, whining about it won’t change it, and I need to work with what I’ve got.  I could go on for what I’ve lost, but what I’ve gained is a whole lot better.   Sure, I lost the job that was ultra-cool, but I was but a number, with tens of thousand others.  With the injury, I’ve initiated an awareness walk, it’s making a difference, the world notices me, and I’m not a number.  This past weekend 164 people came to the park to take a walk with me, they learned about brain injuries, and over $12,000 was raised.   Yes, I’m not working in that too-cool job anymore, but now I matter, and am making a difference.

Awareness is working!

I got the most awesome note on my blog, because someone with who’s disabled found the walk, signed up, is getting pledges, and will be there for it!  He’s totally random to me, so my message is getting delivered, and being heard.

Way cool lunch at the walk

Lunch at the walk will be available to all registrants, and thanks to the rules that need to be followed, it isn’t possible for it to be made at the park.  When you check-in in the morning, you’ll get an awesome bag of some good stuff, and you’ll have the opportunity to choose what you’d like for lunch.  I’m not sure what the options will be, but they’ll be pretty awesome, awesome tasting, and healthy!!

Ideas

I’ve been thinking about the walk, which isn’t really a surprise, and I’d like to find ways to advertise it to businesses, to trade their sponsorship for the registration of people.  I don’t know how to ask it, because I don’t want to sound dumb, but I’d like to say it to them properly.

Big meeting about the walk!

Today there will be an awesome meeting, about the walk.  It’ll be awesome because someone will be there from my pre-accident life.  Mr. Rick Trites, a manager from the group that I worked in up until the accident happened.   I ran into him when I’d gone back to my old-work to present, told him about the walk, and he volunteered to help!  I remember that he’s efficient at what he does, knows his stuff, and the walk will be far better with his help.

Invitation to the walk!

I’m inviting everyone to the walk this year.  It’s growing, please help it be more of a success!  There were about 130 people here for it last year, and I’m hoping for close to 300 this year!  The point of the walk is awareness, to share with as many people as possible that even with an acquired brain injury (or ABI), they’re still a person.  And, even though you might not recognize that term, you’ve undoubtedly heard of it.  That’s because it’s known by other names, concussion being one.  Come one, come all!

Register here!

How to advertise pledging?

I’m not sure how to reach out to the people of the world, to raise awareness, and to ask them to consider pledging their support to a walker.   The walkers can all be found here, but I’m not sure how to tell everybody about it, or to encourage their pledges.  To give the direct-URL for pledging, you can post this, and ask them to click upon your name.

Pledge people here

Come and see the invisible

I’m inviting everyone to join me on June 20, in Ottawa at Andrew Haydon Park.   On that day I’ll be joined by many friends, it’ll be an awesome time.   The point at which would have otherwise been known as the end, won’t be called that.   An acquired brain injury, or ABI, has no end, so why should the walk?  However, at that point there will be something done that is intended to make everyone happy.  I won’t say what it’ll be, because the feelings that people will get from it will be reduced if I do.

A friend of mine put this video together, to help to broaden knowledge of ABIs, and help to advertise the walk.

Check it out!