Advocate receives inaugural award

A LOCAL woman is the inaugural recipient of a national award recognizing work done to make people more aware of acquired brain injuries.

TERRACE PUBLIC Library head librarian Margo Schiller

A LOCAL woman is the inaugural recipient of a national award recognizing work done to make people more aware of acquired brain injuries.

The Trevor and Debbie Greene Award of Honour presented to Yvonne Nielsen acknowledges a person’s “extraordinary, heroic contribution to advance the cause of acquired brain injury in Canada.”

Nielsen, who acquired a traumatic brain injury after being struck by a vehicle while riding a bike, is a strong local advocate who supports others who also have acquired brain injuries and who lobbies for measures to prevent injuries.

The award is named after Trevor Greene, a reservist who was on duty with the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan in 2006 when he was struck from behind by a teenager wielding a rusty axe. The axe nearly split Greene’s brain in two and he has spent the years since in a lengthy recovery with the support of wife Debbie whose name is also on the award.

Nielsen met the Greenes in person at the Pacific Coast Brain Injury Conference this past February in Vancouver.

Nielsen’s efforts on behalf of people with acquired brain injuries have included meeting and lobbying outside political figures when they visit Terrace. She also unsuccessfully tried to convince Terrace city council in 2010 to pass a bylaw making it mandatory for skateboarders to wear helmets when on city property.

Last week, Nielsen presented a copy of March Forth, a book written by Trevor and Debbie Greene about their experiences following the 2006 attack, to the Terrace Public Library.

Nielsen has presented other books on brain injuries to the library, including Winds of Change, a collection of stories by Canadian survivors of brain injuries.

(She also sent a copy to Don Cherry who sent her a thank-you card.)

Additionally, the Northern Brain Injury Association has made similar book donations.

“We really do appreciate the donation of this book,” said Terrace Public Library head librarian Margo Schilling of March Forth. “It increases the collection of material we have on brain injuries.”