Achieving Beyond Brain Injury 2021-2022 Recipients


ABBI Foundation

Jhaelyn – Oshawa, ON

2021 ABBI Scholarship Recipient

We’re so very pleased to introduce Jhaelyn. Jhaelyn is currently enrolled in the Biomedical Sciences program at Trent University and looking to graduate in 2023. Jhaelyn and her family went through an extensive and exhaustive process trying to find the right medical treatment after suffering her brain injury while dancing. Jhaelyn has been a competitive dancer for many years but had to put her passion aside while recovering from her brain injury, and she has now resumed dancing and dances for the Trent University dance team! Jhaelyn now graciously volunteers her time to help educate and build awareness of concussions and brain injury.

Jhaelyn, we’re so very proud to name you as an Achieving Beyond Brain Injury Scholarship recipient in our inaugural year. We know that you will do great things and continue to bring much needed awareness to concussions and brain injuries.

Jacob – Ashburn, ON

2021 ABBI Scholarship Recipient

Turning a life changing event into awareness and advocacy is exactly what 2021 Achieving Beyond Brain Injury Scholarship Recipient Jacob has done. Jacob was 17 years old when he suffered a ruptured AVM causing a hemorrhagic stroke. He spent 12 weeks as an inpatient at Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation Hospital where he quickly became a mentor to the younger patients, and taking on a role as an Ambassador. While in rehab, Jacob’s desire to stay with his passion for engineering, worked closely with one of the Programmers and together developed a video game designed to help children with brain injuries. Jacob has used his ambassador role within his community to bring awareness to pediatric stroke and brain injury, and has created numerous fundraising and advocacy initiatives. Jacob has told us, “Through my journey, I overcame the greatest adversity of my life and I want others to know that by staying positive and believing in themselves, they can overcome anything and achieve their goals as I did.”

We wish Jacob all the best as he heads to Carleton University in September 2021, to pursue a degree in Architectural Engineering.

Justin – Russell, ON

2021 ABBI Scholarship Recipient

It’s our honour to introduce Justin as an Achieving Beyond Brain Injury Scholarship Recipient. Justin has been an incredible advocate for the Brain Injury community and has participated in many events leading back to 2011 some of which include, the founder of Brain Matters, a medal carrier for Rick Hansen, Pan Am Games torchbearer, National Brain Injury Canada Recipient of the Debbie & Trevor Greene award for drawing awareness to TBI, Recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee award, keynote speaker on concussion awareness, speaker at Brain Injury Canada conference and continues to participate in the Robert Wein Conquer Brain Injury Walk. Justin was just 17 years old when he was involved in an accident where he sustained a severe traumatic brain injury. He had just celebrated his Grade 12 prom a week before. Justin spent 3 months in a coma at CHEO and then entered a yearlong inpatient rehabilitation program. Justin is the epitome of the saying “never give up”, since the accident he has worked hard daily to regain losses and says that he continues to make gains each day. A few of Justin’s goals for the future is to support other brain injury survivors using his personal experiences, to regain mobility and walk again and to have a family. In 2018, Justin graduated with a Certificate in Theology from St. Paul’s University and is currently enrolled in Human Relations and Spirituality at St. Paul’s University and hoping to graduate in 2023. Justin’s aspiring to gain employment in a hospital or school setting as a Chaplain or Counsellor and is currently working part-time at Export Development Canada.

Justin, thank you for all the awareness and advocacy you do for the Brain Injury community, and striving to support families in the future. Congratulations on being one of our first Scholarship Recipients, we wish you all the best for the future.

Eric – Thamesford, ON

2021 ABBI Scholarship Recipient

Eric has been described by his therapist at Holland Bloorview as hardworking, compassionate, resilient, and within minutes of watching Eric’s submission video, it was clear to see his wonderful sense of humour! This will bode him well going into TV and Film Production at Fanshawe College this September. Eric suffered his catastrophic brain injury quite recently on December 1, 2020, after his vehicle was hit by a transport, as is still currently on his rehabilitation journey with a private team. While a patient at Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation Hospital, Eric had taken it upon himself to mentor a new patient to the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit, offering his own experiences and providing much needed support. It’s this type of unsolicited support that will change the path for another brain injury survivor, well done Eric! Eric’s community involvement is extensive and ranges from helping in the community, volunteering at Kamp Tanner and being very involved with Andrew’s Legacy, a charity devoted to placing AED’s in the community sports fields and schools, and raising awareness of sudden cardiac arrest, CPR and AED operation.

Mehakdeep – Brampton, ON

2021 ABBI Scholarship Recipient

It is our great pleasure that we introduce Ms. Mehakdeep as an Achieving Beyond Brain Injury Scholarship Recipient. Although Mehakdeep has had an unbelievably trying year, losing two immediate family members to COVID, and shorty after being diagnosed with an unexpected brain injury, she has continued leadership within her community, especially in the medical community and will be entering York University’s collaborative degree program with Seneca College leading to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Mehakdeep is resilient and since being discharged from hospital, she continues to work through challenges from her brain injury, including cognitive and physical fatigue, numbness, and muscle weakness. She’s incredibly proud of being a recent leader for a hackathon in Peel Region called WolfHacks. This is where like-minded individuals gather to learn to deal with problems and created innovated solutions to move forward. She said, “Seeing the students participate in an event helped me realize how far resilience can take an individual, whether for a short period to find a solution or learning how to fight a non-curable neurological condition. It is the art of figuring out how to master any obstacles.” Mehakdeep volunteers her time to organizations like Canadian Youth for COVID-19 support and a student lead initiative called Core of Healthcare and is looking to volunteer for the MS Society as a peer mentor.

We can not wait to hear of all the wonderful things Mehakdeep will do in the future. We’re so incredibly proud to honour and showcase your strengths, resilience and dedication.

ABBI Charitable Foundation

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