A family vacation in Italy in 2013 turned into a nightmare for the Brum family.
Jennifer and Paul Brum and their two children went on a river-rafting adventure on their last day of vacation that nearly ended in tragedy.
Jennifer said the family and their raft were sucked under the turbulent river when it capsized and she lost track of her kids and her husband as she struggled to keep her head above water under the overturned raft.
She said everyone made it out OK in the end, but she and her family were severely traumatized by the incident, and it changed their lives.
“I thought that it was the end of me and my family’s life and I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder soon after the incident,” Jennifer said.
“It was a very difficult time for me and my family.”
Jennifer said she sought out help and when her therapy was coming to an end, she went on to study to become a registered therapeutic councillor to help out others in similar situations.
Jennifer and Paul also founded the “Light on PTSD” organization, a non-profit group that works to increase awareness around PTSD and gathers funds to support future initiatives for families struggling with post traumatic stress.
Jennifer said she and Paul want to encourage trauma survivors to come out of the shadows and receive support, connect, share, and ultimately know that they are not alone.
Light on PTSD hosted a 24-hour cycling relay on June 8 at the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit.
The family-oriented event raised money for the programs at the Pacific Centre: Family Services Association which supports people and families who are struggling with post traumatic stress.
Jennifer said that, as people living with post traumatic street disorder can struggle with symptoms 24-hours a day, the cyclists rode around the VIMC’s circuit for 24 consecutive hours.
“We held similar events in Stanley Park that started two years when we lived in Vancouver, but we recently moved to Langford so we shifted this fundraiser to Vancouver Island,” she said.
“Cycling is very therapeutic and it’s also great exercise. We hope to raise a lot of money for the cause.”