Jackie Cummings, a veteran and paramedic, talks about her experiences with Wounded Warriors Canada’s Trauma Resiliency Program at the Wounded Warriors Run BC launch. A team will run across Vancouver Island to raise awareness and funds for the organization that provides mental health supports to veterans, serving military and first responders. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Wounded Warriors Run BC gets ready to hit the road

Local runners aim to raise $100,000 for PTSD-related programs, supports

A team of brave runners will be making their way down the Island from Port Hardy to Victoria at the end of the month as part of the Wounded Warriors Run BC.

The team, made up of veterans, current serving military, first responders and supporters, will be raising funds and awareness for Wounded Warriors Canada — an organization that delivers mental health programs and services to veterans, military members, first responders and their families who are dealing with operational stress injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“We’re there to show everyone that if we talk about it and touch more people, more people will come for help and not suffer in silence,” said Jacqueline Zweng, the Wounded Warriors Canada ambassador in Victoria.

One of the programs offered by the organization is called BOS — Before Operational Stress — which helps people identify symptoms of PTSD and learn how to address them. There is also a program called COPE — couples overcoming PTSD every day — that has treated at least 300 couples already. Both programs started in Victoria.

Jackie Cummings is a veteran and paramedic who recently graduated from a Wounded Warriors Canada’s Trauma Resiliency Program. It brought veterans, serving military and first responders together for three days to learn about PTSD.

READ MORE: Langford Fire Rescue partners with Wounded Warriors to focus on mental health

“Through my jobs, I have been exposed to things that most people don’t wake up to and go to work and find in their normal day,” Cummings said as she described her journey with Wounded Warriors Canada.

Cummings noted the program helped her connect with the others who were in it.

“For the first time since my injury I truly felt like I had found my people,” Cummings said. “A lot of us had finally found words and explanations for the things that we had been experiencing that actually made sense … to be able to stand in front of a room or alongside others and go ‘wow, me too, you just finally nailed it for me, thank you.”

Cummings said they were exposed to things in their daily life that most people don’t encounter but the program gave her and other participants tools to work with.

“The thing with PTSD is that we live in a very stoic culture,” Cummings said. “We put on a strong front, we tell our stories and a lot of those stories are void of emotion. What [the program] did was strip that down and make us connect to that emotion.”

READ MORE: VIDEO: Wounded Warriors ride to Victoria in memory of fallen soldiers

The Wounded Warriors Run BC team is looking to raise $100,000 this year for the organization. At the launch, donors such as the Saunders Family Foundation, Serious Coffee and Tilray made donations to the team. Langford Mayor Stew Young also announced that the team will receive $10,000 at the finish line from the City and the West Shore Developers Association.

Zweng said after the launch, the team had raised about $30,000 already.

The run will start on Feb. 25 in Port Hardy with athletes covering more than 600 kilometres in seven days. They will reach their final destination, the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, on March 3.

This is the sixth year the run has taken place in B.C. and runners plan to stop at Legions and in communities to share their stories and raise awareness and funds.

Anyone interested in donating can visit the team’s website here.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: North Island Peewee Eagles unleash avalanche of goals against Peninsula in semi-final showdown

The two teams squared up on Sunday morning at the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill.

North Island Seniors Housing Foundation takes the next step towards getting Trustee Road land

Seniors rejoice, Port Hardy council is very much in favour of helping… Continue reading

Port Hardy Volleyball club requests funding from Port Hardy council

The sport of Volleyball is alive and well in the North Island,… Continue reading

Should aquaculture programs be offered at North Island College in Port Hardy?

“I think it would be very timely to have an aquaculture program”

Island Health issues press release regarding Port Alice Health Centre service changes

Island Health will be hosting a community meeting in Port Alice Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. in the rec centre.

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

West coast group campaigns for seal, sea lion harvest

‘Salmon are going the way of the buffalo unless we do something’

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

Vancouver Island’s 10 worst intersections revealed

Saanich, Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan and Langford junctions make the list

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld has died

He spent virtually his entire career at luxury labels catering to the very wealthy

Most Read