MADD 5K about raising awareness

Runners and MADD Prince Albert organizers pose after completing a five-kilometre run on the Rotary Trail by the Elks Lodge on Aug. 19, 2018 (Bianca Bharti/Daily Herald)

Bianca Bharti, Daily Herald

Sunday’s MADD Prince Albert Strides for Change 5-kilometre walk and run was particularly special for Sheridan Trusty, whose brother was injured in an impaired driving accident in 2012.

On August 27, it will be the sixth anniversary of her brother’s accident that landed him in the hospital with brain damage for two months.

“I wanted to participate in this as an opportunity to free myself of the damage it caused me and how it affected my life. This is just a really positive outlet,” she said about the 5K. Trusty ran with her six-year-old son and family on the Rotary Trail by the Elks Hall.*

Her brother, Regan Trusty, decided to get in the car with his friend while intoxicated and ended up colliding into a tree. Regan was knocked unconscious and sustained damage to five of his eight lobes in his brain, resulting in severe short-term memory loss.

“It’s a miracle because he’s kind of the same person he was before but we just don’t want that to happen to anyone else.”

Trusty was able to raise $525 in three days for the marathon, something she said she would not have been able to do without sharing her story to the people around her.

MADD Prince Albert president said the run was a success, with nice weather and good people all around. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness, meet new people in the community and get the conversation growing.

“Two things we always want to accomplish is to educate the community — whether that be in schools or events like this — and another thing we want to work on is increasing victims support,” said Trina Cockle.

Along the five-kilometre trail, MADD put up memorial signs of victims who have been injured or died as a result of drunk driving.

Memorials included those of Amy Perlitz, who was 18 years old when she died of an impaired driver; Chrystal Gayle Rivet, who was 31 and pregnant when she and her unborn child were killed by a drunk driver and Brandy Lepine, who was pregnant and died at the age of 17 by impaired driver. Lepine’s baby ended up surviving.

After everyone crossed the finish line, they were treated to light snacks and sweets. Then Cockle held a moment of silence to commemorate all those who have lost their lives to impaired driving.

Runners and walkers raised nearly $1450 for the organization. The money will go to funding education programs and victims support services.

If you suspect someone is impaired while driving, MADD suggests to call 911 immediately. Impaired driving signs include speeding or driving very slow, drifting in and out of lanes, changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance and ignoring signals and lights.

*Ed. Note — clarification

After publication of this story, Sheridan Trusty reached out to clarify her comments.

She clarified that her brother spent two months rehabilitating from a Diffuse Axonal Brain injury, and that she participated in the walk “to raise awareness of the consequences of impaired driving.”

The walk was a positive outlet for the healing process, she said.

She added that “it’s a miracle her brother is alive and well,” and said her fundraising efforts wouldn’t have been possible without sharing her story on social media.