As summer comes to an end for Saskatchewan families, many people are hanging the bikes up for the season. For one man from Vernon British Columbia however, this is the perfect time to ride a little over 400 kilometres.
That’s how far Brent Worrall is traveling by hand cycling across Saskatchewan to raise awareness of PTSD.
Worrall is a multiple trauma and brain injury survivor after suffering a life-changing motorcycle crash in 2011, which left him paralyzed below the shoulders.
“I flew 130 feet through the air, and the insult to injury was the bike hitting the ground and me as well, and it going up about 30 feet in the air, landing on me and it pretty much (wrecked) my spinal column from T-3 down to my L-1 so I have no voluntary movement below my arms
Then in 2017, Worrall was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“One of the things that’s helped me get to where I am today in my PTSD recovery is meeting those challenges head on, because there’s so much personal growth, there’s so much reward, there’s so much recovery”
One of the most difficult things he has learned through his journey is the effect PTSD can have on those around you.
“My experience has shown me, through my own story and those of others that PTSD can and does have a silent and invisible, ripple-effect on the lives of those affected.”
Worrall has now taken on the challenge of cycling from Swift Current, Sask., to Humboldt, Sask., to bring awareness to PTSD, overcoming trauma and keeping mental health a priority.
“The Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in Swift Current is a place we drive by all the time, and we’ve been in there quite a bit and checked out that little community,” Worrall said. “I love that town.”
As of Sunday, Worrall biked 323 kilometres total, and has only 80 kilometres to go as he leaves Saskatoon.
“Tomorrow we’re going to finish this baby. I’m really happy and it’s just such a cool feeling to feel a sense of reward inside,” he said.
Once he arrives in Humboldt, Worrall is set to give a speech to roughly 400 students about mental health and the struggles he has worked through.
“I can only hope that by pursuing every inch of this journey with the love of my heart… that everything will work out fine,” he said. “I’m going to share my experience, strength and hope with overcoming trauma.”
Anyone who wishes to meet Worrall will be able to see him at the Humboldt Hall of Fame at 1 p.m. Monday.