BrainTrust Canada

BrainTrust Canada

Film puts spotlight on brain injuries

The Crash Reel is the story of U.S. snowboarder Kevin Pearce

BrainTrust Canada and BMO, in partnership with the City of Vernon, present a one-time only showing of the dramatic documentary The Crash Reel, the story of U.S. snowboarder Kevin Pearce who sustained traumatic brain injury just weeks prior to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

It will take place Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Vernon Alliance Church in the Sanctuary, with tickets $10 and available at BMO in Vernon, or at the door.

The event offers  festival seating and doors are open at 6 p.m.

“The movie brings awareness to the serious issue of brain injury through Pearce’s story,” states a release.

“It is raw and real – a powerful story that introduces the audience to Kevin Pearce at the height of his game prior to 2010 as the rival of U.S. snowboarder Shaun White.”

Pearce was expected to be a gold medal contender in the men’s halfpipe, until he suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him in a coma for weeks and changed his life forever.

The movie shares the intimate moments with his family, and his journey through rehabilitation to the current day Pearce, an articulate public speaker, but a drastically different person than who he was prior to injury.

While Pearce can never compete in snowboarding again, he remains connected to his sport and is a strong advocate to bring awareness to the seriousness of brain injury.

“Kevin is a great example of the invisible epidemic of brain injury,” says Magda Kapp, director of communications for BrainTrust Canada.  “This refers to the fact that the long-term effects of brain injury cannot always be seen – they are cognitive in nature and show up as issues such as impaired judgment, impulsivity and limited short term memory.

Vernon resident Shanda Hill (sister to Olympian Kevin Hill) will also speak about her personal experience with brain injury through a BMX crash (with a truck).

“Brain injury can happen in an instant and last a lifetime,” said Kapp. “Concussion is brain injury, and it is important to seek medical attention if a concussion is suspected – especially for youth where symptoms can be more subtle.”

Typical concussion symptoms include headaches, nausea, difficulty with balance, sensitivity to light or noise, feeling sluggish, confused or foggy, lack of concentration and problems with memory. It takes a minimum of eight days for your brain to recover if there is no permanent damage, and return to activity must be medically supervised and very gradual.

The City of Vernon has been promoting safe cycling and skateboarding and  the Helmet Safety Program, co-supported by BrainTrust Canada, the city, community policing, bylaws and transportation demand management.