Brain Train Ride Across Canada Kicks off Brain Injury Awareness Month

    GATINEAU, QC, June 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Ian Young cannot run, walk or ride
across Canada. So Ian will ride Canada's national railroad. Ian's journey
began when he won a cross-country rail trip for two. This motivated him to
broaden the experience by using it to support a cause he believes in. Five
years ago Ian was told he had three months to live. As an Acquired Brain
Injury (ABI) survivor, Ian will use his campaign to raise awareness of those
living with ABI and of Canada's need for a National Injury Prevention Strategy
as a way to reduce brain injuries which become lead to a variety of physical
and mental disabilities.
    Tonight (June 2nd) at 8 p.m., Ian will board a VIA Rail train out of
Vancouver. The Brain Injury Association of Canada (BIAC) will hold special
events across Canada highlighting his trip and the need for Brain Injury
Awareness. Canada's top political leaders have also been invited to join Ian's
historic journey.
    Follow the RIDE at and
    Ian kicked off his journey at the Northern Alberta Brain Injury Society
breakfast in Edmonton on Friday, May 29th where 300 people gathered to wish
Ian a successful journey and to thank him for this tremendous initiative. BIAC
would like to acknowledge and thank VIA Rail for their support of Ian's ride
across Canada.
    The cost of preventable injury is putting Canadian Business at an
economic disadvantage and lowering the standard of living for all Canadians.
Canada's publicly funded health care system is Canada's number one wonder of
Canada's built environment.
    Unless we invest in a National Injury Prevention Program our public
funded health care system is a risk.
    Head injury is the leading killer of males under the age of 35
    Extreme sport is fueling a Canadian head injury epidemic.
    Brain Injury is Canada's invisible epidemic. It is the leading killer and
disabler of Canadians in the prime of their lives and kills more youth and
young adults than all other causes combined. Injury also places a tremendous
economic burden on this country estimated at $14.7 billion annually in direct
and indirect costs.
    Injury has historically been overlooked as a health care issue,
consistently taking a back seat to far lesser health threats. This is due in
part to the common belief that injuries are "accidents" that can be neither
anticipated nor prevented. Like diseases, however, most injuries follow a
distinct pattern and are, therefore, both predictable and preventable. Where
evidence-based prevention measures have been introduced, significant
reductions in disability and loss of life have resulted. The dramatic success
of mandatory seat belt and bicycle helmet laws are two such examples.
    Despite this evidence, Canadian policy-makers and the public remain
largely unaware of the human and economic burden associated with preventable
injury and the many effective ways that this can be reduced. As a result, one
of Canada's most critical health problems remains largely unaddressed. In our
current struggle to contain rising health care costs and ensure the
sustainability of Canada's public health care system, policy-makers can no
longer afford to ignore injury prevention; it is one of the most promising
means to significantly reduce hospitalizations, wait times, and related health
care costs without compromising the accessibility and quality of care that
Canadians want.

For further information:

For further information: Richard Kinar, Board Member of the Brain Injury
Association of Canada, (604) 910-2435; Harry Zarins, Executive Director, Brain
Injury Association of Canada, 1-819-777-2492,

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