A first responder who attended to the Georgian luge athlete who suffered a fatal crash on Day One of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler was in Langley on Thursday raising awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition he developed after that trying day.
“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,” Terrance Kosikar writes in his online bio for Camp My Way, a not-for-profit described as a residential wilderness program for first responders and their families who have been affected by PTSD.
“As a result of the fatality, I developed [a] post traumatic stress injury that launched me into a very costly downward spiral,” Kosikar continued.
The founder of the camp was in Langley as part of Thursday’s 2021 Ride to Recovery, which aims to raise awareness about the psychiatric disorder.
The ride began at Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver at 7 a.m., where participants first gathered to meditate and exercise before taking in a safety talk and a moment of silence for Georgian athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili.
The group left Vancouver later that morning and make a pit-stop in Langley around 11 a.m. at Barnes Harley-Davidson. There, riders were joined by off-duty Surrey firefighters, and heard first-hand from participants who struggle with PTSD and about the impact Kosikar has had in raising awareness about the condition.
Former provincial minister of social development and poverty reduction Shane Simpson also addressed the crowd before Kosikar was awarded an honourary doctorate from Dr. Robert Perkins with the College of Certified Psychophysiologists based in Anaheim, Calif.
Also there to support the cause were members with Vancouver-based Together We Can, like Jordan Milne.
“I’m here volunteering with TWC, Together We Can, which is an addiction recovery centre,” the 36-year-old from Alberta told the Langley Advance Times.
The cause is personal to Milne.
“I’ve been at TWC myself for less than 30 days and I’m just in addiction recovery mode,” he said, noting PTSD and addiction, in his experience, are closely related.
Volunteers with the treatment centre were in attendance to present a cheque donation to Kosikar’s awareness campaign.
Milne, although new to the treatment program, said it’s been beneficial.
“I think a part of healing is just being able to share with other people… not keeping everything bottled up,” he said.
And his message to others who are hesitant to get help.
“Reach out, and we’ll pull you in.”
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