Family, friends honor loved one's life at brain injury walk

Mike King died after a heart attack on March 7. King lived with a brain injury due to a stroke he suffered. (WRDW-TV)

Mike King died after a heart attack on March 7. King lived with a brain injury due to a stroke he suffered. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Saturday, March 16, 2013

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW) -- March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. The Brain Injury Association of Georgia, along with other sponsors, has hosted an annual walk for the past four years. This year, the walk has a whole new meaning for a group of friends and family.

It's been a little over a week since Mike King died after a heart attack on March 7. King lived with a brain injury due to a stroke he suffered.

Despite the news, family and friends still came together to help raise money and give memory to Mike's life.

"Mike is an awesome friend, an awesome husband and a wonderful father. We loved him very much, and we're here to support him," said a family friend.

The crowd of blue shirts was not hard to miss at the Columbia County Amphitheater Saturday afternoon, but one team did stand out more than others.

King's group won the award for having the largest team in Saturday's walk. And while the recognition was nice, Natasha Savage says the award isn't why they came out Saturday.

"Mike had faith despite all obstacles. In the hardest times of his life, he knew God was there for him and the support group was there for him." Savage said.

The Augusta Brain Injury Support Group meets once a month. They sponsor social activities and educate those who have recently been affected by a brain injury.

Patty Goolsby helped organized Saturday's event, and by 11 a.m., the walk had already raised $4,000, which is money that Goolsby says will go to a great cause.

"We will make a donation to the Brain Injury Association of Georgia, and the rest will be used to send at least 10 people to camp this summer," Goolsby said.

The camp is for adults with brain injuries. Organizers plan fun activities that help the brain injury victims forget shortcomings and enjoy life to the fullest.

And while Saturday's walk was focused on adults, one doctor says parents shouldn't forgot their kids are at risk for brain injuries, too.

"Particularly for younger children. When they have a concussion playing football, playing soccer, falling down at a cheerleading practice or whatever, that they receive proper medical care out of the event," said Dr. John Rigg with the Eisenhower Army Medical Clinic.

If you're interested in finding out how to help, you're welcome to join the Brain Injury Support Group. They meet at the Neuro-Restorative Georgia building once a month at 2501 Center West Pkwy in Augusta.


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