Brain injury survivor running across Canada to raise awareness

Brain injury survivor running across Canada to raise awareness.

David McGuire’s family was told he may never walk and talk again after a traumatic brain injury in 2005 left him in a coma.

But the 39-year-old overcame the odds and is running across the country to raise awareness about the condition that changed his life.

McGuire doesn’t remember all the details. He was working at a call centre and passed out and was sent home.

A few hours later his girlfriend Mandy, now his wife, came to his house to find a trail of blood and McGuire having a seizure. When doctors opened his skull they discovered his brain had been bleeding for months.

He lapsed into a coma and doctors told his parents he might never wake up and if he did, he wouldn’t be the same man they knew.

However, McGuire did wake up, moved in with his parents in Tsawwassen and started working out and running everywhere.

He decided to seek help from the brain injury society in New West Minister but found it had closed. It left his upset and wondering where people with brain injuries have to go for support.

Shortly afterward, McGuire saw a movie about Terry Fox and decided to follow in Fox’s footsteps, but for a different cause.

“I don’t want people to go through what I went through. It kills families,” he said.

McGuire trek across the country began in St. John’s N.L. in April. He arrives in Nanaimo on Wednesday (Dec. 7) before finishing his cross Canada journey in Victoria Dec. 9, covering 7,230 kilometres.

McGuire is stopping at the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society office, at 285 Prideaux St., at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday. During the visit Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan will proclaim A Run to Remember Day and people can learn about the services of the society.

McGuire and Melissa Wild, run manager, are spreading awareness in schools and communities about the importance of wearing a helmet to prevent brain injuries and raising money for Brain Trust Canada, an association that offers services to people with brain injuries in the Interior.

“Brain injury doesn’t discriminate,” said Wild. “Prevention is the only cure.”

Helmets are important for prevention. McGuire wants helmets to become like seatbelts.

He’s surprised when he goes into schools and asks how many of the children have had a concussion. McGuire said concussions needs to be properly treated and should be called what they are – brain injuries.

Mark Busby, executive director of the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society, said McGuire is brave, courageous and as he crosses the country, is creating conservations among Canadians about brain injury.

“Brain injury has been in the shadows for far too long,” said Busby.

The society has operated in Nanaimo since 1988. It offers a variety of programs including: peer support groups for people suffering from a brain injury and for family and caregivers and Brain Train, a weekly group that meets to improve skills.

The society also provides prevention and education awareness and the Renewing Pathways Centre Clubhouse.

The clubhouse was recently created as a place where people with brain injury can come and feel accepted and understood, and participate in developing skills by volunteering to help run the centre. It is meant to help members build confidence, regain and develop skills, and become more self-sufficient and reach personal goals.

Busby said it’s about social inclusion and an opportunity for people to gain hands-on practical volunteer work experience. The clubhouse is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

For more information on the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society or to donate, please go to or call 250-753-5600.

For information on the A Run to Remember please go to

Quick Facts:

Brain injury is the greatest cause of death and disability under 45.

More than 170,000 Canadians get brain injuries each year, about 456 people per day or one every three minutes.

About 90 per cent of brain injuries are preventable.

Facts courtesy of Brain Trust Canada

Just Posted

Sound mixer stolen from Nanaimo nightclub

Nanaimo RCMP ask for tips about theft of sound mixer from Koncept Nightclub

Memorial for drug overdose victims on display at St. Paul’s Church in Nanaimo

Flags of Hope Overdose Awareness Display at Chapel Street church until Aug. 29

QB McGarvey steers V.I. Raiders to first win of 2019 season

Raiders blow out Kamloops Broncos in home opener in Nanaimo

Traffic back to normal after accident at Island Highway-Brechin Road in Nanaimo

Accident involved truck and taxi at turn lane leading to Departure Bay ferry terminal

United Way’s denim drive launches at Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

United by Denim campaign runs from Aug. 17 until Sept. 2

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 15

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Most Read