Dozens participate in second annual Brain Boogie
More than a dozen people were sporting lime green shirts bearing the likeness of Bob Spuzak and the words 'Prayers for Bob' in Crescent Park Saturday.
© Justin Crann
Graeme Harrison completed the second annual Brain Boogie with the fastest time at 22:34. He said he was participating for a personal workout and to support friend and former classmate Jordan Beattie, who suffered a brain injury in a collision.
Spuzak, 28, suffered a traumatic brain injury following a collision at the intersection of Ninth Avenue Northwest and the Trans-Canada Highway this past April.
Chip Dellabough, Spuzak's stepfather, was one of 13 relatives and friends to come out in support of the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association's (SBIA) second annual Brain Boogie — a fundraising walk/run from which the proceeds go toward programs for brain injury survivors such as Bob.
"He was hit at that intersection — Ninth Avenue (Northwest) and the Trans-Canada Highway — by the Liquidation World. … The accident turned our lives upside down," Dellabough told the Times-Herald.
"Since the accident, we've found out so many things we didn't know (about brain injuries). We didn't know where to go, or where to get the information. … We were looking for help, information, experience and wisdom, and we stumbled across (the SBIA)."
"To know that there is support for people with brain injuries is huge," added Sabrinna Spuzak, Bob's sister. "Just being able to go out and get donations for the cause, and know that they are going to stay in the area and for people like my brother, is important."
Many of the more than two dozen runners and walkers participating in the event were doing so for someone they know who has suffered a brain injury in the past.
Graeme Harrison, who completed the run with the fastest time, said he had signed up to "support the community" and a friend and former classmate.
"I have a friend from school whose name is Jordan Beattie, and he had a brain injury just out of Grade 12," Harrison said. "He was T-boned by a semi. So I did this to support him."
Cheryl DePape and her childhood friend Cheryl Olson, who is visiting from out of town, were looking for a run to participate in while Olson was in Moose Jaw.
It was just a coincidence, said Olson, that she was running in a fundraiser to support victims of brain injuries — an issue she said hits close to home.
"She has a friend whose husband passed away from a brain injury at a young age," explained DePape. "So it is important to support this kind of event.
"That's the fun part about being a runner. You can support these causes just by coming out and going for a run."
According to Alli Radiuk, one of the event's organizers, support and increased awareness are what the Brain Boogie is all about.
"An increase in awareness has been happening around Moose Jaw," she said. "We've done boothing at events throughout the summer, and we've been told stories of people who know others with brain injuries, or even who have had brain injuries themselves.
"It's really quite a large-scale condition … and the proceeds (of the Brain Boogie) go toward programs to help the survivors regain some of what they lost, as well as give them an opportunity to socialize."