St. Michael's physicians riding for trauma survivors


Fundraising Goal $5,000.00

Total Number of Gifts: 8
Total Value of Gifts: $950.00

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A group of physicians from St. Michael's Hospital is cycling through southern France this fall to raise money for the Trauma Survivors Network.

Emergency physicians Drs. Alun Ackery, Samuel Vaillancourt and Joel Lockwood, along with Dr. Rob Sargeant, head of the hospital's Division of Internal Medicine, will cycle from Sept. 10 to Sept. 16, covering more than 700 kilometres and climbing more than 11,000 metres.

The hope is to not only raise money, but awareness that care shouldn't end when trauma survivors leave the hospital, said Dr. Ackery, who is also a trauma team leader at St. Michael's.

"When someone has sustained traumatic injuries, the focus has always been on making sure they survive," he said. "We save their lives physically, but we now recognize there is more to it than just healing the body. There is a need for continued support for all the other ways trauma can affect someone's life."

The route crosses the French side of the Pyrenees Mountains, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. It includes several legendary climbs of the Tour de France, which will make the ride more difficult, said Dr. Vaillancourt.

"We wanted to do something constructive to show our support for these patients and their families," he said.

"This challenge we've taken up reminds us of the courage our patients need to go through the ups and down on the road to recovery. Obviously, we're doing this by choice, but we'll face a physical test beyond what we've experienced and we'll need each other's support to get through it."

The Trauma Survivors Network was developed by the American Trauma Society to help trauma centres break the isolation many patients experience after trauma, and provide support and services to patients and their families need during their recovery from serious injury. My BeST (Beyond Surviving to Thriving), a patient support group at St. Michael's, is the first Canadian branch of the Trauma Survivors' Network.

The money raised by the bike tour will go towards the support group. It will also help expand the Trauma Survivors Network efforts at St. Michael's, which will potentially include training and mentoring peer support workers for both inpatients and outpatients.


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