About Me

Biography

I was the first responder to a fatal accident during an event at the Whistler Sliding Center during the Winter Olympics in 2010. Although I was well trained in a myriad of life saving techniques, I was not prepared to deal with the emotional impact sustained when those techniques were not enough. As a result of the fatality, I developed PTSD that launched me into a very costly downward spiral.

During several years of severe depression, anxiety, nightmares, and substance abuse, I lost my family, my career, and nearly my life. Pushed to my breaking point, I found salvation within. Escaping to the back-country near Lillooet, BC, I found peace and purpose in mother nature's beauty and simplicity. Many others who have suffered from PTSD have not been so lucky. By raising awareness about this debilitating mental illness, we can help the people suffering from PTSD get the help they need.

There are many ways one could go about raising awareness to a condition like PTSD. I have chosen one of the more abstract methods of getting people's attention. While wearing 52 pounds of solid steel chain and battling northern British Columbia's brutal winter conditions and passing through 12 avalanche paths. I have elected to flip a 400 pound tractor tire across 7 back-country mountains in the Cayoosh Range, of the interior of British Columbia along the old Douglas trail that was abandoned back in 1856 during the gold rush. CLICK HERE TO SEE MAP Once I have accomplished this dangerous journey, I will then canoe 30kms back down the glacial fed Anderson Lake to Seton Portage. Depending on winter blizzards and freezing lake conditions…unsure how long the last 30kms will take

Operation Breaking the Chains BC, is only the beginning to help bring awareness. It is my mission in life to help people who are suffering from PTSD overcome this terrible illness. Starting in 2016, I will be offering a series of week long introspective nature retreats at Camp My Way. These trips will give people suffering from PTSD an opportunity to leave their real world problems behind, and to find themselves in some of the most beautiful terrain in the world. In my experience, this has proven to be an incredibly effective method to help treat my PTSD. I am also working on organizing a cross-country speaking tour, where I will be sharing my PTSD experience with Emergency Service providers coast to coast.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a mental illness. Traumatic events which are unexpected or where the person is powerless to stop or change the event can cause PTSD. It can make the person experience symptoms such as re-experiencing the traumatic event through nightmares, flashbacks, or thoughts of the event that seem to come from nowhere. They may feel like something terrible is about to happen and feel very numb and detached. People also experience a change in their thoughts and mood related to the traumatic event. For some people, alcohol or drugs can be a way to cope with PTSD.

Who does it affect?

While some people experience trauma at some point in their life, not all traumatic experiences lead to PTSD. Some jobs or occupations such as military personnel, first responders, doctors and nurses put people in dangerous situations and have higher rates of PTSD than other professions. Trauma is not always a single event in the past. Some trauma, particularly repeated acts like abuse or trauma during wartime, can impact a person's life far beyond the symptoms of PTSD.

What can I do about it?

If you experience problems in your life related to trauma, it's important to take your feelings seriously and talk to a health care professional. Counselling has been shown to be effective by teaching you how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours work together and how to deal with problems and stress. You can also learn skills like relaxation techniques to bring you back to the present. Support groups are a place to share your own experiences and learn from others, and help you connect with people who understand what you're going through.
Citing sources: [http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/]

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