Duncan’s 20-mile trek to thank vital trauma unit

Photo Emma Mitchell. Duncan Stewart, right, and Mark O'Donnell
Photo Emma Mitchell. Duncan Stewart, right, and Mark O'Donnell

A man who suffered a serious brain injury in a car accident is getting on his bike to raise cash for a rehabilitation unit which helped him in his recovery.

Duncan Stewart is being joined in his trek from Kirkintilloch to the Falkirk Wheel on Friday by keen fellow cyclist Mark O’Donnell, a support worker at Graham Anderson House in Springburn.

The unit, which recently added a new ‘Eastfields’ extension, is part of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) charity.

The Trust’s Lorraine McAulay said: “Duncan was just 17 when he sustained a serious brain injury.

“He moved to Graham 
Anderson House in 2012 then moved to the new Eastfields development in November last year.

“He decided he would like to do more for people suffering from a brain injury and has decided to help raise awareness and money for BIRT (Eastfields).

“Duncan is a keen cyclist and is taking the challenge to cycle the 20-mile flat, 
traffic-free route along the canal to the iconic 21st century landmark, the Falkirk Wheel, 
supported by Mark.”

Duncan told the Herald: “My goals for coming were to move out of home and get my own place.

“I needed help with my memory and getting on with others. I had trouble with reading other people’s social cues correctly.

“I’m looking forward to moving to the new development at Graham Anderson House because I will be more independent but have support if and when I need it. I like to keep busy and be involved.

“I like to keep my brain 
occupied and do things on the computer such as the newsletter (The Wee Issue) and 
the new service user pamphlet.

“Being in the new development will mean I can still be 
involved in those things but also learn how to live on my own.”

Lorraine added: “BIRT 
offers best quality neurobehavioral rehabilitation for adults with complex and challenging needs following brain injury.

“At our Eastfields service we ultimately want to enable service users to participate 
in life as fully as possible.”

As well as behavioural disorders following a brain injury, individuals may also have severe cognitive, physical and/or emotional problems, 
and impaired social functioning.

A fundraising page has been set up online for Duncan’s big cycle. To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Lorraine-Mcaulay

To find out more about the Graham Anderson House in Springburn Road, visit http://www.thedtgroup.org/brain-injury/our-services/graham-anderson-house/