Patient with acquired brain injury treks 900km Bruce Trail
OWEN SOUND, ONT. -- Tyler Gibson is on a journey.
"I’m trying to pace my physical side that wants to run a marathon every day with my mental fatigue, so I can learn to create balance, and live day to day and create a routine hopefully," says the Collingwood man.
Four weeks ago, Gibson left Niagara, heading north of the Bruce Trail. He brings his own food, purifies his own water, and sleeps in a tent, most nights.
The 911 kilometre journey to Tobermory would be hard for anyone, but Gibson was diagnosed with an acquired brain injury four years ago, the result of countless concussions.
"Some of my best concussions were from skiing. I felt seizures. Two months of memory loss my first year of university. My bell really never stopped ringing from that one, really," says Gibson.
A frustrated Gibson went undiagnosed for over 20 years, leaving him depressed, deflated, and unemployed. His diagnosis, meant vindication and freedom, to try and finally move forward with life.
"I’m trying to find inner peace and clarity," he says.
Hiking helps him. So, he embarked on this gruelling end to end Bruce Trail hike to prove to himself and others, an acquired brain injury isn’t the end of his life, it’s just a new direction.
"I can bring things down to such a calm level in my brain and hopefully retrain it to find those pathways that just weren’t working for all those times I wanted to fill out paperwork, or send an email, or fill out a resume, but my brain would just get locked up and I didn’t know why," says Gibson.
Gibson’s Bruce Trail adventure is also raising funds for Ontario’s Brain Injury Association, who helped Gibson, and others start life anew.
He says, "I wish I had known. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I did, so that’s my biggest reason for being out on the trail."
Gibson has raised $8,000 of his $10,000 goal, with seven or eight days left of his Bruce Trail adventure.
You can learn more here.