Stuck in a dimly lit room, void of stimuli, Katelyn Greer is suffering the effects of her third concussion this year, thanks to a mix of unfortunate rugby and soccer incidents. She’s stuck listening to yet another audio book and the freezer is packed with muffins and cookies; much to her family’s delight, she has taken up baking to keep busy during her recovery.
All she can do is rest. That’s what the doctors tell her after each appointment, and it’s frustrating. Clearly there’s a need to make advancements in concussion research, and she hopes that one day she might help lead this change.
Katelyn paints a picture for me as we speak about her future plans. A recipient of a Foresters™ Competitive Scholarship1, Katelyn is now studying Medical Science at Western University and eventually plans to attend medical school. I’m surprised to learn that she didn’t dream of being a doctor as a child. It wasn’t until high school that she discovered her passion.
“Throughout high school I always enjoyed science and got high marks so I decided to take all of the courses available,” Katelyn says. “One day in biology class, we were dissecting fetal pigs, and I realized it was the most fun I had ever had in school; it was so interesting to see all of the organs.”
While her university career is just beginning, Katelyn hopes to one day specialize in allergies or neurology. She has a personal connection to each field of study.
“I have an anaphylactic allergy to pineapple and mango, but it didn’t show up on any of my allergy tests, which is very rare” she tells me.
In addition to her familiarity with concussions, Katelyn tells me that her grandfather’s experience with Alzheimer’s is another key reason why she’s motivated to study neurology.
“When I was little, I would visit my grandfather at the retirement home where he lived and play piano for him and the other residents,” she recalls fondly.
Today, her family runs ‘Great Memories Charity Golf Classic’, an annual charity golf tournament in his honour that donates proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Society of Peel. In preparation for the big day, Katelyn wears many hats. She signs up participants, gathers donations, sells raffle tickets, collects prizes from local businesses, and lends a hand wherever it’s needed. Her family’s hard work has paid off. They’ve raised an impressive $200,000.
“I’m so proud of my family for creating an amazing tournament that has become such a hit,” she gushes. “Giving back makes me feel like a better person and at the end of the day you get back what you put in.”