An Estevan resident is spearheading efforts to raise awareness about the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association (SBIA) in the Southeast.

In 2010, Jennifer Kuchinka was struck by a semi-truck, resulting in an eight-day coma that forever altered her life. Since then, she's been dedicated to spreading support and awareness.

She added that brain injuries are often seen as invisible injuries but there is a large number of Canadians who suffer from them.  

In Canada, 2 percent of the population lives with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). TBI occurs in 500 out of 100,000 individuals annually, equivalent to 456 people daily or one person injured every 3 minutes in Canada.

Even 14 years after the accident, she remains concerned about the potential impact of additional incidents. "I always have to wear a helmet because if I fell off my bike and hit my head, I feel it’ll be worse because of my injury if I do get a concussion," she admitted.

Attending support groups in other cities, including Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton, and Prince Albert, has been invaluable for Kuchinka and her recovery. She emphasized their importance, stating, "It’s people that have been affected by brain injuries and strokes and things like that, and we just get to know each other, and we have a lot of fun together. So, it’s been very important to me."

Kuchinka remains committed to supporting SBIA and volunteers annually to raise money and she has scheduled a 5K walk at Fresh Air Fitness in Estevan. Currently, she is looking to local businesses for sponsorship for either monetary pledges or donations for the raffle table. The event is scheduled for September 13, 2024.