Last Saturday, a newly formed organization held its launching ceremony. That organization is called the Belize Brain Awareness Society. The society is made up of individuals with a desire to see more awareness on brain diseases in Belize and to offer more support to those in need . Kaylia Nunez is the Founder and CEO of the society and has had two brain aneurisms and subsequently two brain surgeries in the past. She says she definitely sees the need for such an organization.
Kaylia Nunez, Founder – Belize Brain Awareness Society: For me it was difficult. I had nowhere to go, no society, no organization and no one to turn to when I had these ordeals. So after my surgery I started to get much better and far much stronger, I decided that this is a venture that I would like for the Belizean public to acknowledge and see that we are actually here willing to help persons with these things. And for me the finance when it comes to the medical expenses, it was really high. For me if I could have afforded it at those times, I know what of (the plight of) people that are not working and the poorer population, how are they living? Hence the reason for the organization.
As we said, the society was officially launched last Saturday. We asked Nunez what is next following the launch.
Kaylia Nunez, Founder – Belize Brain Awareness Society: We are constantly making sure that we get the members and people involved, people that are affected by anxiety, depression, epilepsy, seizures, brain tumours, brain cancer, sleeping sickness and the list goes on. These persons are the persons that we are trying to get involved, for us to help them. No longer are these things taboo, no longer do we want these things to be hidden. I myself had neurological disorder and as well, I was recently diagnosed of anxiety disorder. And people look at these things like they are very simple but in actuality they change your body, they change your mood. And we need to take these things seriously, your health is your wealth.
The Board of Directors is made up of 11 persons, mostly professionals, including a neurologist, internist, nutritionist, counselor, psychiatric nurse and oncologist. One of those board members is Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, a pediatric neurologist. Mendez told us that he believes that through awareness, the society can help to enhance the well being of patients.
Dr. Marco Mendez, Pediatric Neurologist: So within the neurologic diseases of children, we have children that do suffer from what we call minimum brain disorder and it is a high percentage. These types of children have learning disorders. Examples are the children with hyper activity and attention deficit disorder, for which most of the time they need to be treated when they are over 7 years. There is medication that could be given but they need to be identified in school, teachers need to know the signs. And of course most of the times, there are children that are very active, they cannot sit down, they are not paying attention. They are sometimes referred to as the trouble makers but they do have a problem. And it’s not that they are rude, it’s just that there is a problem within the brain that needs to be stabilized. Sometimes children could have a problem of ‘calculia’. It means just the calculation, they could be confusing the plus with the minus or the multiplication with the division, and we think that the child is retarded. They could be having a problem with learning disorders. So those are the things whereby the association, the Brain Awareness Association wants to bring across to the population, to teachers and everyone who is one way or another involved (with children) within our society.
The Belize Brain Awareness Society is located in Belmopan at 36 / 38 Trinity Boulevard. They can be contacted on Facebook at Belize Brain Awareness Society or at phone number 614-5055.