Denis Leamy pictured with ABI Ireland Communications Executive Karen O'Boyle at the launch of ABI Ireland's annual fundraiser "Bake for Brain Injury"
The "Bake for Brain Injury" will take place during Brain Awareness Week from Monday 7th March to Sunday 13th March encouraging people to bake and donate towards Acquired Brain Injury Ireland.
It has been estimated that over 10,000 people are affected by an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) each year in Ireland. Men are three times more likely than women to acquire a brain injury, and young men in particular between the ages of 16 - 24 are at high risk.
Munster Rugby's Denis Leamy was on hand to launch the campaign, and help create awareness around the growing "silent" epidemic that is brain injury and in particular the dangers of concussion.
Speaking about the launch Barbara O’Connell, Chief Executive of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland said, "We are calling on all those who can, to get involved in Bake for Brain Injury by hosting a bake sale in aid of ABI Ireland at home, school, work or in your local community. The past two years have been difficult for us all. Funding for voluntary disability organisations has been significantly affected by the economic downturn, leading to a significant freeze to the development of existing services, and no future development for much needed extra services. It is because of this that fundraising, now more than ever, has become a crucial factor to the survival and development for us as an organisation; caring for those with an Acquired Brain Injury".
"ABI Ireland provides vital support services to enable people with ABI maximise their abilities. We also work to reduce the number of people affected, by raising awareness of the causes of ABI. Our annual "Mind Your Head" campaign has successfully raised awareness of the importance of wearing protective helmets when cycling or playing contact sport. For 2011, the Mind Your Head campaign is placing its focus on Concussion, and the importance of both protecting and educating our young players”, she said.
Denis Leamy added “We all love playing the game and we all want to give one hundred and ten percent to our club, our province or our country. Wearing a scrum cap while playing rugby, a helmet when playing GAA or whatever protective headgear is available to you is an easy way to look after your health and your future”.
For many athletes collisions are often part of the game, however repeat concussions are very serious. After a blow to the head, the brain remains in a vulnerable state for several weeks, increasing the risk of a repeat concussion.
The "Mind Your Head" campaign is reaching out to all sporting bodies to educate all their players and coaches alike about the importance of concussion management for their specified sport.
ABI Ireland’s Bake for Brain Injury hopes to raise urgent funds for the improvement and development of Community Rehabilitation services throughout Ireland. Making a difference in the lives of those with an Acquired Brain Injury; ensuring a life of maximum ability, not life-long disability.
Brain Awareness Week from Monday 7th March to Sunday 13th March. More information and online donations can be made here, www.abiireland.ie