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

Invasive crab spotted near Sooke

Fisheries need more data to know if numbers are increasing

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Credit card frauds target local businesses: VicPD

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

Fatherhood draws Victoria man to publish Tsimshian colouring book for children

Leon McFadden is working on 11 more books to finish the horoscope series

Victoria shoppers fund Jubilee hospital cardiac monitoring

More than $40k raised over the holidays at Canadian Tire locations

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Most Read