After a car crash left Langley resident Michael Coss in a coma for six and a half months, his family was told he would never speak, eat, or walk, ever again.
On Feb. 23, Coss will celebrate 15 years of recovery by climbing the 48 stories of the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, to raise funds for the B.C. Lung Foundations.
It will be the fourth time for Coss, who is one of the top online fundraisers for the annual “Climb the Wall” event, as is his team, “Neurons in Motion.”
Coss, who describes himself as a “very proud and grateful brain injury survivor,” recently marked the 15th anniversary of his May 18 car crash by posting a public thank-you video to the 27 people he credits for his recovery, starting with his children, their mother, his parents (who moved to Vancouver from Quebec City to help) and his brothers, as well as the dispatcher and paramedics who responded to the crash, and several doctors, nurses and therapists.
“My sincere (thanks) goes to each and every one of you,” Coss said.
Coss has gone on to become a motivational speaker and author.
He established the Michael Coss Brain Injury Fund with the Coquitlam Foundation, a registered charity and a member of the Community Foundations of Canada which aims to build endowment funds to support important community initiatives.
Donations directed to the Michael Coss Brain Fund at the Coquitlam Foundation are eligible for tax charitable receipts, and their board can authorize grants from the Michael Coss Brain Injury Fund to pay for treatments for children with brain injury.
Coss has also spearheaded other fundraising initiative, including organizing a GoFundMe campaign to help a Surrey family struggling to recover from the sudden death of a mother of three.
And Coss has organized a cross-Canada video conference for brain injury survivors to “develop new friendships, share key wins and to reinforce the power of human connection.”
Climb the Wall 2022 aims to help the estimated one in five Canadians affected by lung disease including asthma, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, and lung cancer.
The funds it helps raise provide COVID-19 support, research, advocacy and patient support programs.
Since the event began, climbers have raised more $2 million to help Canadians breathe easier.
So far this year, Coss and the “Neurons in Motion team” have raised $350 toward a goal of $1,500.
Contributions can be made online through the B.C. Lung Foundation website at bclf.donordrive.com, search for “Coss.”
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