Hello, and welcome to the Creative Impact Health Foundation Blog. We are so excited to be officially up and running and would like to take a moment to introduce ourselves.
Creative Impact Health Foundation is a group of young professionals from various backgrounds who were brought together by a common goal: to bring our community together and make a difference for those living with or effected by traumatic brain injury. For more information on our team, view our About Us page.
In Canada, brain injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for those under the age of 35, and it is estimated that more than 1.5 million Canadians are living with a brain injury. The estimated cost of brain injuries is $3 billion annually and their impact is widely felt by the survivor, their family, and the community. We work to provide funding for concussion and brain injury research in hopes of improving the lives of those who have an existing brain injury and decrease the number of people who acquire a brain injury.
CIHF is currently running a project called Helmets for Heroes. Our team brings together local artists, professional athletes, and children who collaborate to design helmets that the athletes will wear in competition. The artistic endeavour is central to the project because art is an effective therapy tool for youth - it improves mood, decreases pain levels, and assists in the healing and coping processes. The helmets that are created are auctioned off after the athlete’s competition and the proceeds go to fund our initiatives. To honour the young girl who inspired this foundation, Gillian O'Blenes-Kaufman, we continue to work with children who battle illness. We have found that a very special relationship develops between the artist, athlete, and child that we like to call reciprocal resilience. So our purpose is twofold: a) we fundraise to support brain injury research and b) we provide our project participants the opportunity to connect with others in their community, make meaning out of the child’s battle against illness, and inspire those around them through art and sport.
In addition to fundraising projects, CIHF focuses on concussion awareness and educating the broad community on the importance of helmet safety to minimize the risk of traumatic brain injuries. Check back in a few weeks for some articles and a blog post about helmet safety.
The CIHF team are always working to develop meaningful ways of fundraising and enhancing our community. Our current Helmets for Heroes project – Project ‘ X’ - has achieved this by taking the artistic experience one step further. If you have ever been into a Children’s Hospital, you might have noticed that art covers the walls of many patients’ rooms and often spills out into the hallways so their works of art can be shared with others. We felt inspired by this display and asked the artist, Amy Dryer, if she could create a canvas telling the story of Project ‘X’ through her lens so the powerful messages of this project could be shared in another format with the larger community. We are exciting to be auctioning off a one-of-a-kind canvas at our next event, CIHF Launch Party, that beautifully captures the bravery, strength, and hope of the child, athlete and artist involved in this project. Check out our current project by watching this video and stay tuned for more information about helmet safety!