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

Peninsula Streams Society to restore 120 metres of Colquitz Watershed

With goal of contributing to the recovery of cutthroat and coho salmon

Victoria City Council approves inclusionary housing policy

After years of back and forth, the policy will be ratified in two weeks

Filipino Heritage Month event takes over Centennial Square

Dancing, music and food highlight Mabuhay Day celebration in Victoria

West Shore residents report finding anti-SOGI 123 flyers in mailboxes

SD62 trustee Ravi Parmar says the flyers are ‘garbage’

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read