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Local brain injury support group gets government dollars

'Brain injury is bigger in scope than multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, HIV/AIDS, and breast cancer combined. That’s how big this issue is in Ontario'
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Tracey Poole, BIANBA President, and Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli announce $248,000 in Provincial funding to support those with cognitive impairments in the community. Photo by Ryen Velduis.

It wasn’t too long ago that people hit on the head—especially at work or in professional sports—were told to just go back out there and walk it off. But over the years we’ve started seeing the seriousness of brain injuries on people.

Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli was pleased to announce today that the Brain Injury Association of North Bay and Area (BIANBA) would be receiving $248,600 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant to help them support people in the community in need of support from cognitive impairments.

BIANBA President Tracey Poole said this funding—which will span 36 month—would help the organization in hiring a transitional support worker and supplying the future employee with the tools needed to service the community. The organization’s mission is to enhance the lives of individuals and families in North Bay and area who are living with the effects of acquired brain injury through education, awareness, and support.

“We need to make sure he or she has the tools needed in order to execute the initiative,” she said. “We work to help them find the appropriate supports in the community and assist the families and caregivers of these people. It could be workplace, strokes, it could be concussions, and it’s a large population of people that many are unaware of.”

As a registered charity with a volunteer board, BIANBA receives no LHIN funding and is totally reliant on donations, fundraising activities, and proceeds from memberships.

“It’s a great opportunity for 75 people over the next year and more,” Fedeli said. “Brain injury is bigger in scope than multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, HIV/AIDS, and breast cancer combined. That’s how big this issue is in Ontario. So it’s a great opportunity now for some very specific giving to help people get back to work and take care of themselves and their families.”

Poole said there has been a lot of media attention around the issue of concussions, among other brain injuries over the years.

"I would encourage people to watch the movie Concussion," she said. "Repeated blows to the head can have a lasting impact, cause personality changes, and much more. It’s gained a lot of attention in recent years."

 



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