Brain injury survivor offers insights to students

Students at Mount Boucherie left the gymnasium inspired on Friday after hearing David McGuire’s story.

Students at Mount Boucherie left the gymnasium inspired on Friday after hearing David McGuire’s story.

In 2005 McGuire sustained a traumatic brain injury, was in a coma for a week and had to have part of his skull removed to let his brain swell.

At the time, doctors told McGuire’s family that he may never walk or talk again.

McGuire has long since proved that theory false as he is currently in the process of completing his Run to Remember: A marathon a day across Canada through all kinds of weather.

Since beginning in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 1, McGuire has logged over 6,500 km on foot. And it hasn’t been easy. “I’ve had days where I’ve said, ‘Why am I doing this? Is anybody noticing? What’s the point?’”

During the tough days, McGuire said he thinks of people such as Terry Fox, who have attempted the journey in far worse circumstances.

On Friday, McGuire took a break from running to share his experience with students in West Kelowna.

He told about the struggles that he has endured since his injury six years ago. He told students that his short-term memory loss is very similar to the movies 50 First Dates or Memento.

The students were a captive audience as McGuire explained that he has visited the grocery store and then forgotten why he was there.

According to McGuire, he shares his story with young people because they are at the highest risk.

If you specifically look at brain injuries, 88 per cent of them come from 18 to 25-year-olds. (They are) mostly from taking risks and not wearing a helmet,” said McGuire.

“If I can get these guys to prevent what I’ve gone through, then it’s worth it.”

In Kelowna last Thursday, McGuire spoke to students at Kelowna Senior Secondary School about the importance of brain injury prevention.

His presentation was followed by a short run with all 600 Grade 10 students from the school.

His appearance at KSS was followed up by a   lunch hosted by BDO and a reception later that day at the Best Western Hotel where he had the opportunity to ‘roll in’ with members of the Okanagan Roller Derby.

Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd also declared Nov. 17 as A Run to Remember Day.


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