University of Victoria Student Making Great Strides

July 21, 2014

(Vancouver, British Columbia)– Good work ethic, the drive to succeed and a kind and compassionate person are some of the characteristics, which define Lane Chevrier, the 2012 and 2013 Tanabe Bursary recipient.

The 28-year-old psychology student has excelled at the University of Victoria currently in his third year of studies where his professors have seen an individual who is highly motivated and has a willing to learn which is evident through his A+ grades in psychology courses.

Chevrier has shown an interest in giving back to the community through working with the Victoria Brain Injury Society and helping people become more independent. He has heard many fantastic stories about the brain’s abilities to recover from damage and be reprogrammed. The Victoria resident became interested in the question of just how adaptable is the brain.

“There are many practical applications in recovery and therapy which I believe could benefit from the plastic model,” said Chevrier. “If we believe (cerebral palsy) CP is a lost battle, I’m sure it is.  But perhaps there is another way. Perhaps CP and other neurological disorders can be defeated through neural retraining.” Chevrier has cerebral palsy and Asperger’s Syndrome but he has been achieved good grades in school, has a positive demeanor and been an advocate for people with disabilities through his community and academic work.

The 2013 Tanabe Bursary winner is assisting in a psychology event related potentials lab at the University of Victoria and enjoys Clinical Neuropsychology where he is learning about all the various components and structures of the brain and how they directly influence behaviour and reality. In addition, he is learning on how the damage affects people. The Tanabe Bursary is a $1000 award that has helped alleviate some of the financial burden from Chevrier where it has helped him in his academics such as with textbooks and tuition and socially with the high cost of living like with rent, utilities and hydro and food.

He takes joy and satisfaction in people who have progressed in their lives and are happy. As a person with cerebral palsy he has experienced physical difficulties and chronic degenerative pain combined with suffering with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) he can understand how difficult it can make life. This has resulted from him suffering from depression and anxiety disorders related to his difficulties with social and cultural integration. However, he is constantly looking to improve and develop as a person and as a result he has matured as an individual where he’s gained a better perspective of the world.

“There is always an underlying fear of the existential unknown – the inevitabilities of the cold realities of the human condition catching up with me said Chevrier.  “This is why I am inspired by people who have constructed their lives to the point where they can wake up in the morning and not worry about poverty, hardship, or depression. This is my biggest hope, that no matter where I am in my life, one day I will no longer be frightened of the future.”

Through his work with the Victoria Brain Injury Society, he feels that it’s critical that people with injuries get the proper support and treatment after the incident as he feels that patients have difficulties in reconciling life before and after the incident. He feels grateful to be part of a group designed to give young brain injury survivors a place where they can be around others who have shared the same experiences they have. “I am happy to have been a part of creating this supportive community atmosphere,”

Chevrier said, he has not let his disability define him and pushed himself to work hard towards completing his Undergraduate Degree of Science in Psychology with honours at the University of Victoria as in six months he will be embarking on his fourth year. In five years time, he hopes to complete graduate school with his thesis on the clinical applications of neuropsychology related to cerebral palsy and ASD. “No matter what the outcome of my goal and my level of success, the fact that I have driven myself with unyielding resolve defines my character,” he said. “I refuse to be just another person on disability, wasting away under oppression and stigma. I will create myself according to my own goals. You can too.”

 

The Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia (CPABC) Tanabe Bursary:

Since 2008, the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC has awarded educational bursary to over 64 highly promising students with cerebral palsy through the Tanabe Bursary. We are proud to support eight exceptional recipients of the 2013 Tanabe Bursary: Michael Berkshire, Somayeh Mansouri Nejad, Shawn Wilson, Clayton March, Nathan Bragg, Marco Niccoli, Lane Chevrier and Kevin Caslor. Learn more about 2014 application and deadline at http://bccerebralpalsy.com/programs/education-bursaries/

The Cerebral Palsy Association is committed to making a Life Without Limits for people with disabilities. We are a UCP affiliate. Learn more by visiting http://bccerebralpalsy.com/.

 

For more information about the CPABC, please contact:

Feri Dehdar
Executive Director of the Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia
Tel: 604 408 9484
feri@bccerebralpalsy.com

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