Terry Evanshen Shares Inspirational Story of Hope at Mental Health Event

May 17, 2010

CFL Hall of Famer, Terry Evanshen’s life changed forever when he was almost killed in a serious car accident in 1988. He suffered permanent brain damage and had no memory of his famous career, family, friends, education or life skills. Evanshen shared his story of recovery at the annual National Mental Health Week Speaker Series at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores).

“I finally accepted the truth that I must take one small step at a time,” said Evanshen. “I refused to be a victim, I am a survivor. I have been building a new Terry one day at a time.”

After 14 seasons in the CFL, Evanshen’s accident left him unable to walk, perform basic life skills or experience emotion. After years of hard work, intensive cognitive and behavioural rehabilitation and the support of his loving family, Evanshen is physically active, takes on family responsibilities and inspires hope in others through events like this.

Evanshen is now 66 years young and has a renewed passion for life. He shares his story and his passion with others to encourage their individual journeys to recovery and inspires them to take each moment as it comes and surround themselves with people who believe in them.

“Always believe in yourself, your abilities and personal power,” said Evanshen. “Take advantage of your life now because the future is today and we should enjoy it.”

For the past three years Ontario Shores has partnered with Canadian Mental Health Association-Durham (CMHA-Durham) to host a free mental health speaker series for the community. This year’s topics included Organizing Basics, Protecting your Kids Online, Caring for Aging Parents and Enhancing Couples Relationships and the event wrapped up with a keynote presentation from Evanshen.

Ontario Shores and CMHA-Durham welcome opportunities to provide greater mental health awareness and education for the community. For more information about upcoming events please visit ontarioshores.ca or cmhadurham.org.

For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact:
Communications and Public Affairs
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
905-430-4055 ext. 4001