Runners, walkers and volunteers from the 2012 Moose Jaw Brain Boogie pose for the camera. Submitted photo
By Nathan Liewicki
'Hi, I can't remember your name either.'
That is what it says on the buttons Leslie Good has been selling across the country for about three years now.
"From Vancouver to PEI, I have sold over 1,500 of these buttons," said Good. "I only ask for $2 a button, but some people have bought five or six of them from me."
Good takes a bag of the buttons with him wherever he goes across Canada. He is not selling these buttons because he thinks it's a funny joke. It's not.
Good is a brain injury survivor and he is trying to get the message out about preventing future brain injuries, especially to young kids.
"I go and speak in schools and make sure they know to wear a helmet when they ride their bikes. We don't want to see them getting brain injuries," Good noted.
A member of the Canadian military in the late 1980s, Good recalled a blackout experience he had when he was driving a car on Nov. 9, 1989. After that, he received a number of medical tests from military doctors before he was officially diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour on Jan. 5, 1990.
"The doctor told me it had been growing in my brain for seven years," stated Good.
His reaction to being diagnosed with a potentially fatal brain injury was unlike what many people have after receiving such news. He said he was not devastated or bothered by the diagnosis, but that he would just "take it one day at a time."
Good had surgery to remove the tumour on Feb. 28, 1990. Since then he's has been cancer and tumour free.
Despite receiving a medical discharge from the military in 1991, Good has relished the opportunity to be an outspoken volunteer and advocate for brain injuries. He spends time volunteering at Regina's Wascana Rehabilitation Centre and at the Pioneer Lodge here in Moose Jaw.
Since the first annual event in 2003, Good has taken part in the now annual Brain Boogie two-kilometre walk or five-kilometre run event held in late August or early September. The event, which also takes place in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Yorkton, is happening for the second year in Moose Jaw.
The event will be held on Aug. 31 starting at the Crescent Park amphitheatre. Registration will open at 9 a.m. and the walk/run will begin an hour later.
Good will be there, as will Moose Jaw Brain Boogie co-ordinator Alli Radiuk.
"We raised $700 last year, but we are already halfway to achieving our goal of $5,000 this year," said Radiuk.
All of the proceeds raised from the Brain Boogie will go toward programs for brain injury survivors.
Radiuk said lots of people with brain injuries and survivors of brain injuries attend the event because it's a chance for them to socialize and get in touch with people in the community.
"One of the side effects for some people with brain injuries is isolation, so this event is good for them," said Radiuk.
Good is fortunate that he never suffered from isolation when he had his brain injury, but he always enjoys his time at Brain Boogie events.
"I ask people how they are doing and if things are OK," said Good. "I want to make sure people know I'm there for them."
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks.