Brain Boogie brings out the best

Participants in the Brain Boogie 2018 head out at the start of the walk on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

Walkers may have needed sleeves and long pants for the tenth annual Brain Boogie at the Elks Lodge Saturday, but just seeing the support warmed Patti Koivisto’s heart.

Each year at the event, a fundraiser for the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association (SBIA), Koivisto acts as the MC and puts out the signs marking the course. She got involved with SBIA after having a pair of strokes a few years apart.

“This (event) brings joy to my heart,” she said.

“Brian injury survivors are so full of love and compassion, and they just bring joy to every day. We do pretty well here.”

A few dozen participants came out, including brain injury survivors, their family and friends. They collected pledges and participated in a raffle draw and a barbecue to raise money for the cause.

Seeing the strong turnout, Connie Farish was “ecstatic.”

The Prince Albert woman is one of the people who help organize the Brain Boogie year after year.

“it’s growing every year,” she said. ‘We seem to get bigger and bigger. It’s a feather in our cap to get the support we have from friends and family. As injuries happen, people need help. We’re here for everyone.”

Funds raised will go towards programs and events for the SBIA Prince Albert chapter, along with retreats, camps, a new program and monthly meetings.

Like Koivisto, Farish became involved with SBIA because of a brain injury. She said the organization helps everyone, whether their brain injury is due to head trauma, concussion, stroke, a tumour, an aneurysm or any number of other causes.

“It gets you out of the house and gives you community support close to people you can talk with because they’ve gone through the same thing you’ve gone through,” she said.

“Although there are (different kinds of brain injury), day to day and month to month it’s all the same. You have to re-learn and keep busy.”