I grew up on a farm about 2 hours west of Toronto where the only traffic to slow me down was the occasional tractor or snow plow that wouldn’t let me pass. Now that I’ve moved to the big city, the idea of traffic has changed drastically!
Earlier this year, I was driving home from work in a bumper to bumper traffic jam. I was patiently crawling through traffic, driving slower than a turtle race, when I noticed in my rearview mirror that the driver behind me was distracted on his cell phone. For about 5 minutes as I could see this man, regularly looking down at his phone when he suddenly drove right into my bumper. Right away I knew that his carelessness was due to him paying more attention to his phone than having his eyes on the road. I was furious! How dare he hit my car which I am proud of and pay an arm and a leg for! As I got out of my car to have a word with this man, I noticed he had a baby seat in the back. Fortunately, there wasn’t a child in the seat, however if there had been, that child could have suffered whiplash or worse.
This got me thinking… I am also guilty of occasionally checking my messages or making a quick call while driving. It’s too bad that it often takes incidences like these, to realize it’s not worth the risk! Did you know that 40% of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) survivors sustained their brain injury as a result of an automobile collision? Also, distracted driving is cited as a factor in 30 to 50 percent of traffic collisions in Ontario, however, this statistic is probably much higher due to under-reporting (such as my incident). These numbers could be drastically reduced if we all eliminated using our cell phones while driving. The Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) has created the D.O.N.T campaign to help stop texting and driving. When you choose to text and drive, you are choosing to drive blind. This can result in a serious crash which can cause brain injuries, disabilities and death. I have made the pledge to stop texting and driving, perhaps you should to!
Click here to take the Pledge
At the young age of 14, Taylor Lindsay-Noel was a Canadian National Gymnastic Champion. She was an energetic superstar on her way to success and fulfilling her dream of being an Olympic medalist.
On July 15, 2008, Taylor had an unexpected fall from the high bar which left her instantly paralyzed from the neck down.
It’s been six years since Tayler’s fall which resulted in her becoming a quadriplegic, and Taylor has continued to make new dreams come true. She was her high school president, graduated as an Ontario Scholar and has won various academic awards. Next year Taylor will be starting her third year in Radio and Television at Ryerson University where she currently holds an A average. She has had the opportunity to intern with Global News and Entertainment Tonight Canada. Taylors new goals are to become an entertainment reporter and to meet Ellen Degeneres. She has tried in the past, however she was denied, as Ellen is a very busy lady! Last year Taylor was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network which shows you that Taylor is far from ordinary. She is an inspiration to many people and she deserves to share her inspiration with the world through meeting the one and only Ellen.
I am one of Taylor’s therapists at Aim2Walk, Neurological Rehabilitation Facility, and I want to help make her dreams come true. Taylor and I will be traveling to Los Angeles in July, 2014 and we hope to get onto an Ellen show. Please help us get this message to Ellen and her team so that Taylor can meet her while we are there. Please, like, share, tweet and pass along this message to help Taylor make another dream come true!
See More from Taylor:
Taylor was recently a guest blogger for us, check out more on her story here.
Taylor’s always entertaining us with her stories and energy. Here she sings along to one of her favorite Lion King Songs while walking on the Lokomat (a robotic walking machine).
The 10th annual BIST/OBIA (Brain Injury Society of Toronto/Ontario Brain Injury Association) Mix and Mingle held this past Wednesday June 11th, was bigger and better than ever. For the third year in a row, Aim2Walk was there giving free massages to those in attendance supporting the fundraiser. This year, we were working non stop giving massages well past 10PM while we enjoyed a cool breeze (the past two years it was sweaty hot, so the breeze was a nice treat), live music, delicious snacks and a few Steam Whistle beverages throughout the night.
This person, may or may not be a famous actor 🙂
Matt joined in on the massage fun.
With 600 people, the event was a success raising nearly $150,000 (this number has not yet been finalized however once everything is added up I was told it will be close to this estimation). The event was a great way to network as well as raise the necessary funds to help support the two organizations and the programs which help support individuals with brain injuries in Toronto. Here are some of the programs for which the funds will help:
- Providing compassionate, personal advocacy and support services to individuals living with acquired brain injury and their families.
- A coordinated voice for our province-wide ABI network and professional and family caregivers on issues impacting the industry.
- Peer Support Program – connecting individuals who are “veterans” of a life experience involving ABI (the “Mentor”) with “Partners” coping with a similar ABI-related situation.
- Caregiver workshops and monthly community meetings for members and their families.
- Certificate Training Programs, providing education to professionals working in home and community-based rehabilitation programs.
- Raising awareness of the prevalence and issues related to ABI, and working to eliminate the stigma of acquired brain injury, with the ultimate goal of saving lives and preventing life altering brain injuries.
This year, because I’m now the social media director of Aim2Walk, I had Jesse make a poster so everyone would join our network and follow me. Take a look at my fancy poster (and don’t forget to add me to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and check out our blog and Youtube).
I love this poster! It’s so me 🙂
Thanks to OBIA and BIST for another successful event, I always enjoy having a good reason to get dressed up and to support a great organization.
Michelle Wolfe, RMT