Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dave McGuire and the Run to Remember

Dave McGuire, a brain injury survivor, ran across Canada last year. In a trip that lasted from April to December, he covered marathon distance each day in an effort to raise awareness for Brain Injury in what he called A Run To Remember

He's really amazing, isn't he?

His story has been reported by multiple sources.Here are a few links that I thought were interesting.

Radio Interview
David's Youtube account with more videos

A recent post of his revealed all of the struggles that we (as brain injury survivors) go through. There are a lot of us who have days where we don't have the mental energy to be able to mail a letter, but are supposed to jump through hoops (20 page forms) to get our basic needs met (food, shelter, transportation). And even that's not a guarantee that we'll get help. I've been turned down for help by multiple organizations. I've basically quit hoping that an organization will assist me.

The help nets let us fall through the cracks because we look like we're 'normal', 'healthy'. And yeah, some of us can run and ride... but that doesn't necessarily mean we're feeling excellent every day. Just because I can run farther than a huge chunk of the US' population doesn't mean I don't need help.

Dave's broken hardware
"You see I am a little naïve. I believed in all the recovery promises. That if I went to the right Doctors, followed the rehab protocol, registered with social service and sought out the services that are offered for brain injury survivors and I put in the work, that there would be eventual pay off.

And I worked hard. I spent my first year just relearning how to learn. Putting up with the bureaucratic bullshit of social service, insurance companies and all the rhetoric of a medical system that likes to sound good, but acts in the opposite. Falling through the cracks and missing out on valuable resources.  Dealing with huge corporations who market how “socially connected they are” yet offer absolutely no social resources, care, or concern for anything but the bottom line for them. I stood up I walked, I ran, I ran across the country.
 I tried again, and again, I worked myself into mental and physical exhaustion.

I screamed for help from government, from friends, from family. I screamed until I had no move voice in me. I have listened to everyone, from shrinks, to psychologists, speech pathologists, brain injury survivors. I have read books, I have gone to yoga, meditation, I have had sleep deprived EEG’s, I have been poked, prodded, squeezed, analyzed, neglected, “at a boy’d”, talked down to, disrespected and disregarded.

I am clinically depressed, I have an anxiety disorder, I suffer from exhaustion because I don’t sleep. I am broke and in so much debt. The banks don’t care about the brain injury, they don’t care about the run, they don’t care about the progress I have made, or how “I have come accept my situation”. That’s great, I accept it. I get the fact that I am “difficult” for other people.  I accept the fact that I can’t be relied upon, that m I accept the fact that I can’t work full time. My family won’t talk to me, that my friends have to focus on their own shit and not mine. I accept all of it. Now what?
I am not trying to be negative, I am really trying to see the positive, where is it? The hardware is not going to change, so I need to change my outlook. I get it. How? How do I be OK with this? What steps do I take to accept this reality that this is as good as it’s going to get? How do I be ok with this?


In a newer post, Dave talks about the struggle in more optimistic terms. Which, truly, is one of the things that keeps me going. There has got to be something better.

I want others to know this as well. It's going to suck, it's going to be really hard, it is going to be unfair, and you are going to suffer unfairly. This is a reality. However there is optimism. I have seen it, I have felt it, I have achieved it. It's a fleeting thing optimism. It's a tease and it's constantly disappearing with the challenges we face. However it is attainable. Whatever that looks for you, or for me. I believe in that. 

Doesn't take away the hurt, doesn't take away the frustration, doesn't take away the unfairness, but it is attainable. 

Don't give up or give in, don't settle, and don't stop. Because someone else has it worse of than you, and no one deserves what we go through.

For More about David:

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