Anyone could become the victim of brain injury or stroke, regardless of age
I have never been through the life-changing experience of sustaining a brain injury before, but upon talking to survivors and seeing the statistics, I felt like a drastic change needed to take place to make people realise that anyone could become the victim of brain injury or stroke, regardless of age.
I began fundraising for SameYou in September 2020. I had seen Emilia make an Instagram post to promote the Inca Challenge, with her incredibly cute dog Ted, and so I decided to sign up and create a fundraising page to challenge myself to get off the couch after many months of lockdown, whilst also raising money for a worthy and unique cause.
During the challenge, in my spare time, I started to research what brain injuries are and how they affect people, and I was in complete shock at how distressing the aftermath of injuries are for those who have been subjected to them.
I decided to create an Instagram page to keep a permanent record of my fundraising progress but to also share facts and raise awareness of brain injuries and strokes. Upon completing the Inca Challenge, I am proud to say that I raised a total of £120 for brain injury recovery. This was my first, but not last, fundraiser for SameYou.
In October, I started my first year at university where I study criminology and psychology. One of my psychology modules was called ‘Introduction to Cognitive & Biological Psychology'.
We learned about the structure of the brain, which sections of the brain served what purpose, and how to identify brain deficiencies based on a person’s symptoms in written and videoed case studies. I started to gain a better understanding of how the brain works and how it affects people who have been affected by brain trauma. This, in part, motivated me to continue raising awareness and fundraising for SameYou.
My Instagram page was constantly being updated with facts about the brain and different disorders that can affect people (such as aphasia and prosopagnosia), to raise awareness and highlight the issues that were and still are affecting people in relation to brain injuries and the recovery services available. These regular posts were highly appreciated by the incredible community that raises awareness of brain injuries, with the majority of these being brain injury survivors themselves.
Through sharing these informative posts, I started to communicate with several amazing individuals which I still have (virtual) conversations to this day. Unfortunately, there was also criticism from online trolls who made fun out of the idea of my fundraising and activism for brain injury survivors. Despite this criticism, I was still determined to stand up for what I believed was a worthy cause, and this enthusiasm and perseverance motivated me to eventually create my next fundraiser, The Dragon Challenge!
I wanted to raise a significant amount of money for SameYou and brain injury recovery, and I have always wanted to complete a skydive (even though many people are probably not too keen on the idea of jumping out of a plane and willingly falling thousands of feet!). I decided to call my skydive ‘The Dragon Challenge’ based on Emilia’s role as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, because she is the founder of SameYou, and I felt the name suited the nature of the challenge itself.
For obvious reasons, I knew that I would not be able to book my skydive during the winter months in the UK, and therefore decided to hold off on the skydive until coronavirus cases had eased, vaccines had become more widely available, and weather conditions had improved.
By February, which was also my birthday month, I felt as though I was not doing as much as I could be, so I decided to launch a birthday fundraiser, for which I received a total of £388 in donations for SameYou. In addition to this, I opened another fundraising account on Instagram that was dedicated to pictures of scenery, buildings, and landmarks from around the world. This fundraising page is still open and you can find the link in the bio of @theworld.sameyou2021’s Instagram account.
Six months since I came up with the idea of The Dragon Challenge, I was able to book my skydive for 27th June 2021. I created my fundraising page and have set a target of £1000 for brain injury recovery, which I really hope I will be able to achieve with the help of generous donations from friends, family, and anyone willing to give towards an incredibly worthy cause.
Even though I have never sustained a brain injury or had a stroke, promoting and raising awareness of SameYou and brain injury recovery has really opened my eyes to the reality of recovery and the likelihood of me, one day, potentially getting a brain injury or suffering a stroke myself, and I hope that by doing everything that I have done, I have made others who have also not been affected by an injury realise the importance of brain injury and stroke awareness.
My SameYou Instagram account is called @conors.sameyou.skydive, and the link to The Dragon Challenge fundraising page is www.justgiving.com/fundraising/conorlogan.
Conor has done so much to support SameYou and we really wanted to acknowledge this and say a huge thank you. Please do take a look at Conor's Instagram page and support him in the run-up to his skydive for SameYou later this month - we can't wait to see the photos!