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Exposed Living

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"In every man's heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty." -Christopher Morley

Hi, my name is Martin. 

Some eight years ago, my life took an interesting turn. What started as a mild fatigue, eventually turned into a challenging neurological condition. On bad days, I struggle to get outside or even walk more than a few hundred meters at a time. From the onset of the first symptoms I searched for medical advice, which resulted in varying diagnoses. Depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia were all mentioned frequently. In more recent years a few doctors diagnosed me with Lyme disease. While I have a Lyme diagnosis, I feel it is our best guess at this stage. It is a controversial diagnosis and treatment, not recognized by a lot of health professionals. This uncertainty in the healthcare system towards Lyme disease adds an extra challenging layer to my journey.

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How To Draw Attention At the Branch Out Bike Tour

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Pushing down hard on the pedals, one… two…. three… four.  Greg’s wide tires move slowly along the pavement. Road bikes whiz past quickly down the highway.

To say the least, Greg Van Tighem drew some attention on his fat bike at the Branch Out Bike Tour this past June. Riding a fat bike makes rides more difficult because of the extra weight and wider tires. Everyone at the tour was left wondering why he would choose to suffer this self-induced handicap.

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Smarty Pants

Are you wondering what’s up with the Branch Out Research Students?

We’ve interrupted a couple of them to hear how their projects have been going and if you missed this years bike tour, we've recorded the live research presentations and posted below….

 

Christopher Clarke

Major is biology, minor is psychology at Grant McEwan University

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Smart n Sporty - Meet Branch Out's new board member!

Sarah, the newest member of the Branch Out board, loves skating in circles as fast as she can, snowboarding in the park and getting active on the Branch Out Bike Tour. This enthusiasm, combined with her skills in strategic planning and execution, is really going to fire up some neurons!

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MRU Students Branch Out, Out, and Away!

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It may not look like it out there, but spring has sprung, meaning that the winter semester at Mount Royal is coming to a close. While the end of another stressful semester brings much anticipated relief, it also means our time with Branch Out is nearing its end.This experience has been exciting, rewarding and educational for the four of us. From the moment we found out that we would be working with the foundation, we couldn’t wait to embrace such an inspirational cause and contribute whatever we could to help the foundation “branch out” even further!

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Panorama Peak to Valley Challenge

Participants in Panorama's Peak to Valley Challenge will descend the full height of the mountain from the summit to the base in support of the Branch Out Neurological Foundation.

 

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#BergerBranchesOut

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Hi everyone! 

My name is Berger! I’m originally from a super warm, sunny land called Florida, and when I was just a little bulldog I came to live with my human, Ted, in Calgary. It’s cold here sometimes, especially compared to Florida, but I love my human lots and people here are real nice! 

I’m an all-white bulldog, which I guess means I can’t hear too well...or at all, whichever one. I don’t notice too much though, since I could never really hear in the first place. I just sometimes go to sleep and I guess my human can’t wake me up to eat or go play, and I love to eat and play, so that is no fun. 

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Pitching For Change

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Fast Pitch Calgary Finalists prepping for their 3 minute Speech!

For the past two months the Branch Out Neurological Foundation has been a part of a spectacular program called Fast Pitch Calgary. No, not a sporting event, although just as competitive and making waves across the non-profit community!

The event is put on by Social Venture Partners Calgary, a group dedicated to bringing together individuals interested in philanthropy and social change within Calgary…best karma ever!?

I know I know, What is Fast Pitch it already!!

Fast Pitch is a two-month program, which consists of training and mentoring for innovative non-profits that are effecting social change in Calgary.

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Olympic Skier Branching Out

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Do you love skiing and snowboarding? Have you ever wanted the chance to ski/snowboard with Olympic athletes? If you said yes, (let’s face it, who wouldn’t?) then be sure to come and join Olympic Skier Brad Spence at scenic Panorama Village for the Peak to Valley Challenge! Being held on April 5, 2014 and organized by Brad himself, this event is an exciting one-day, downhill race in which competitors and their supporters are invited to participate and help make sense of neurological nonsense.

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Olympic Spirit

Welcome back!

The Winter Olympics are currently in full swing in Sochi and we hope all of you have had the chance to cheer on your fellow Canadians as they compete. Here at Branch Out we thought we’d get into the Olympic spirit and bring you a very exciting interview from former Olympic athlete Trevor White! Trevor is a retired ten-year veteran member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team who represented Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. We recently got the chance to chat with Trevor about his connection to Branch Out and what motivates him as an athlete.

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Hi Trevor! First off, we would love to hear why Branch Out’s cause is important to you?

First and foremost, Crystal Phillips and Graham Daw are both great friends. Having that personal attachment to the foundation is obviously a catalyst for my involvement. Secondly, I see how hard they work, how passionate they are about the foundation and their efforts to make change. Their inspiration makes Branch Out an important cause for many of us. 

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