A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. These injuries can cause a loss of consciousness, but most concussions do not. Because of this, some people suffer concussions and don’t realize it.
Concussions are common, particularly if you play a contact sport, such as football. But every concussion injures your brain to some extent. This injury needs time and rest to heal properly.
I recently had the privilege of participating in the BIST Birdies for Brain Injuries golf tournament at the Glen Abbey Golf Course in Oakville, Ontario. This great day of golf sought to bring golfers together and raise awareness about the frequency of brain injury and what it is like for those individuals and families that live with the effects every day.
The Brain Injury Society of Toronto, which held the event, supports ABI survivors and their family members.
At the tournament I met Chris Bogias who was the inspiration for the event. Chris had suffered a total of six concussions through sport that eventually rendered him from playing any contact sport again. This type of injury is prominent in our youth today involved in many facets of sport and therefore I wanted to share his story.
Chris received the devastating news that would change his life and end his Oakville Competitive Soccer ambitions that began at age five. He suffered multiple concussions playing basketball, volleyball, soccer and snowboarding over a four year period.
His family witnessed Chris struggle with memory recall, concentration, along with his added frustration from being restricted to compete. His mother Lina believed that Chris could be influential and give meaning to his injuries by giving back and supporting others challenged by this invisible injury.
Chris took his passion for sport and put his efforts into organizing a charity golf event that would allow him to help raise awareness for the effects that concussions have on teens and others in needs with the money raised. It was a great event that Chris and his family were surely proud to have taken part in. I have no doubt that Chris will be a prominent face in the future supporting victims of brain injury.