The Kitchener Rangers are proud to announce HEAD STRONG, a program created by Ben Fanelli that provides awareness about brain injuries and raise funds for various brain injury associations.
Ben was the victim of a serious brain injury in October of 2009. Since the injury Ben has been rehabilitating and continuing positive progress towards his goal of playing hockey again.
“I feel because I was given a miraculous second chance I want to do everything in my power to offer others the resources to be able to give the next person a second chance. I will not be a neurologist myself, but what I am capable of doing is raising awareness and funds for a cause that is close to my heart,” says Fanelli.
On June 5, 2011 Fanelli will swim, bike and run his way through the Subaru Triathlon being held in Milton, Ontario. He will participate in a 750m swim, a 30km bike ride and a 7.5km run and is asking for your support in raising funds for the Brain Injury Association of Canada (BIAC). Pledges for his cause can be made at kitchenerrangers.com and the Brain Injury Association of Canada website at www.biac-aclc.ca by clicking on the donate button.
A specially designed HEAD STRONG tee shirt is available at the Outpost - the official store of the Rangers and at all Kitchener home games for $20 including tax. All net proceeds from the sale of this shirt will benefit the BIAC.
Fans can also make a donation directly to the Brain Injury Association of Canada by clicking the image below.
Ben Fanelli introduces HEAD STRONG
Almost everyone knows about Lance Armstrong’s battle through cancer to prove that nothing can slow him down. His story has become one of inspiration to many around the world, including the Kitchener Ranger’s Ben Fanelli.
That is why Ben, in partnership with the Kitchener Rangers, has developed HEAD STRONG, Fanelli 4 Brain Injury Awareness. His first campaign for HEAD STRONG is to complete the Subaru Triathlon on June 5, a goal he has had on his mind a while now.
“Lance Armstrong overcame something that no one thought was possible and I want to replicate that in a different way with my injury,” Ben says. “I planned to run this triathlon months ago because I needed another goal. I decided to turn it into something bigger and found an association I could support.”
That would be the Brain Injury Association of Canada (BIAC). Ben will be collecting pledges online for his cause and raising funds through the sale of a $20 (tax included) HEAD STRONG t-shirt, available at the Outpost, the official store of the Kitchener Rangers with proceeds going to the BIAC.
“A concussion is a brain injury now. In my area of life, which is hockey. I want to make it known that there’s a way to help,” says Ben.
Something that has definitely helped keep Ben motivated with these plans is the support he has had, starting with teammates Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan Murphy. “The three of us talked about it and (Murphy and I) said we can help you out and we can be your trainers,” Landeskog explains. “It’s one of those things we all wanted to do, and it’s really exciting.”
And when it comes to training, the three of them are always at it. “We’re probably the last ones leaving the rink,” Murphy laughs. “I am the vocal guy out there that keeps him going – Gabe is the guy who can work out with him. But we do our part and can’t wait to see him running, swimming and biking.”
Ben participated in his first triathlon a couple weeks ago, and now knows how hard he will need to push. “I know my body isn’t meant for triathlons, I’ve trained for hockey,” he says. “But everything I’ve done in my life I try to come out on top. I’m going to go as hard as I can the whole race.”
Ben also knows he has more than just the support of his family, coaches and teammates as he strives to achieve his goals, but also that of the Kitchener fans and community.
“It’s absolutely amazing to feel the support. I can’t even find words to describe it because of the respect I feel and the adrenaline it gives me to work harder, it’s amazing. At the same time, I need to show everyone that I will be back.”
So focusing on what he can do now, and helping a cause so close to his heart is what Ben is set on doing. He is proving what determination can do, just like his idol. And like Lance Armstrong, Ben is hoping this leads to something great.