*ALL PROCEEDS GO TO STOP CONCUSSIONS FOUNDATION*
My name is Brandon and I will be running the Hamilton Marathon on November 6th, 2022. Growing up I was highly active and played competitive hockey. I continued pursuing my passion for the game in University where I went on to play Junior B hockey.
My time playing was cut short. In January 2019, I sustained a hit and went directly into the boards while skating quickly up the ice. Initially, the hit only raised concerns in relation to my shoulder. Without serious concern, I returned to the game. It wasn’t until three days later that I began to feel concussion symptoms. I have suffered two concussions prior, but this one was different. I was sensitive to light. My balance was off. I had convinced myself that the symptoms would only last a week and slowly diminish day by day.
Fast forward months down the road as the symptoms persisted. I tried to block them out and continue with my normal routine until it became unbearable. My academic studies came to a pause when I decided it was time to move home and seek treatment. I was recommended to Shift Concussion Management in Guelph, Ontario to receive treatment. This is where I learned that I was suffering from post-concussion syndrome and that my vestibular system was all out of sorts. Hearing that my life as I knew it had to come to a complete and utter standstill was a tough pill to swallow for the active and energetic kid that I was. Rigid guidelines were put in place to kick off this long, slow, and frankly, agonizing recovery.
The first month of this process was extremely difficult. No phone, computers, television, exercise, going out, or playing the guitar. My only form of entertaining pastimes included podcasts, and even that was limited. This was an extremely tough time in my life, and I had hit an all-time low. As time passed, I began to notice minor improvements, bringing me to the next phase of the recovery process – reintroducing physical activity. A common component of concussion treatment is known as the “Buffalo Treadmill Test,” where one gradually increases treadmill speed and heart rate up until the point at which the onset of symptoms begins. Much like training for a marathon, my rehabilitation experience was nothing short of a mental battle. It was at this point that I fell in love with running and told myself that when I recover, I will run a Marathon.
Three years later, I am fully recovered and preparing for my third marathon with the goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I am extremely grateful for Shift Concussion Management. Without their team, specifically Scott Haller and Joe Pendleton, I would not be where I am today. I would also like to thank Kerry Goulet, the founder of Stop Concussions, who was always there to speak to me during my most difficult times.
I am now fundraising for the organization that helped me and continues to help many other athletes affected by concussions. I ask kindly that you can contribute any amount that you feel comfortable with to this great organization.
Stop Concussions: https://www.stopconcussions.com/