Who Are You – Tobey Kai Update

Using music as rehabilitation, a talented Calgary musician overcomes a Traumatic Brain Injury, and is an inspiration for others.

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Before last year my social media experience was limited to Facebook, but that changed last year when I decided that the time had come for me to do something different with my life. Having a larger presence on social media would go a long way towards accomplishing the things that I wanted to do, so I now have accounts across several platforms.

An Instagram account was a no brainer, and I soon found out that there was more to this app than just the Kardashians and other assorted “influencers” (I can’t believe they get paid for this shit, honestly). As I scrolled through the accounts that Instagram thought I’d be interested in, one stood out.

I was first drawn in by her photo. She is possessed of those qualities that are highly desired by those shallower aspects that are inherent to men. In short I thought she was hot. I started to follow her and checked out her profile. She was a local girl with an incredible musical talent, university educated, and she had also suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. I needed to find out more about this intriguing person, named Tobey Kai.

Natural talent

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From Tobey Kai’s Facebook page.

Tobey’s musical talents come naturally, both of her parents are musicians who came to Canada in the mid-’80’s. From a young age, she showed an interest in music, taking her first piano lesson at only 6years old. She says that her singing abilities came from her mother, who also sings opera.

The family would come to Calgary by way of Vancouver, and Tobey continued to study music, enhancing her natural born talent. She has a younger brother, and an “adopted sister” who has been in her life since her teen years.

You might think that Tobey would pursue a music education at the Alberta College of Art, but her interests also extend beyond music. Instead, she has not one but TWO bachelor’s degrees, and they have absolutely NOTHING to do with each other, holding degrees in biology and economics.

Animal lover

Courtesy Facebook

http://tobeykai.com/

Equal to her passion for music is her passion for animals. She combines the two at her music studio where she gives private music and singing lessons. She has resident cats and dogs that will like to come and visit while she’s giving lessons, and she mentions this on her website giving anyone who might have allergies a heads up.

Conservation of the world’s oceans is another one of her causes and she is an advocate for the world’s sharks, whose populations have nearly been wiped out in Asia due to poaching. Shark fin soup has long been a delicacy in some Asian countries, but ever decreasing numbers have led to the dish been banned.


All life is precious. Meet Freyja, one of my many daughters I’ve had the honour of caring for over the years. A ferocious predator (not unlike a shark), but has never struck me because I haven’t given her reason to. 
Don’t be afraid of what you don’t understand. 
#alllifematters

To her, all life is precious, and she would soon come to know just exactly how very precious it is. On the home page of her website, you can listen to a song she wrote called “Ondine”, which she has dedicated to ocean and shark conservation.

A cagey polyglot

As if all of this weren’t impressive enough, she also speaks fluent German. I figure that she would be able to carry out lengthy conversations in at least three languages: English, Mandarin, and German. I ask her how many languages she can speak, and she’s coy about answering saying only that she “does dabble in a few languages”. Based on what I’ve learned about her so far, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that she could single-handedly interpret a meeting of the UN Security Council.

https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18021109522098021/

Touched by Alzheimers

In 2017 Tobey began writing a song about her grandfather, whom she lost to Alzheimer’s disease. Called “Who Are You”, it recounts her grandfather’s final words to her “Who are you, young lady? Are you lost?” It is a poignant song about an experience that many families go through, and can relate to. It would be several months before she would record the song however. At the beginning of 2018, something would happen that had a lasting and profound effect on her life.

Who Are You – Written for Alzheimer’s and brain injury awareness.

Everything changes in an instant

For Tobey, recreation is something done outdoors no matter what season it is and whether it’s on a bike or a snowboard, physical activity is just as much a part of her life as music. She’s as much at home on the back of a bicycle as she is on a snowboard, and it was while enjoying a day on the latter that things would change forever.

Sunday, January 14th was a pleasant day to be in the mountains, with temperatures only a couple degrees below zero. Deciding to take advantage of the beautiful weather, Tobey decided to go snowboarding at Nakiska that day. At the end of her first run, when she got to the bottom of the hill, she slipped and fell to the ground.

Moments later a skier collided with her, impacting her left temple. Almost immediately, she knew that something was very wrong. She had lost feeling below her neck, her fingers were twitching, and she knew that she was bleeding from somewhere underneath her helmet. Emergency crews were able to stabilize her and transport her to Calgary by ground ambulance. She remembers much of the hour long ride back to the city, but some memories are gone.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

Image result for subarachnoid hemorrhage
Image result for subarachnoid space

Your brain is covered by a thick, fibrous membrane called dura mater. Beneath the dura mater is the archnoid mater, under which cerebralspinal fluid helps to cushion the brain. A tear in a blood vessel can cause blood to accumulate in this space, putting pressure on the brain. Surgery may have to be performed to drain the blood and stop the hemorraging.

The odds of making a full recovery are against someone with a subarachnoid hemorrage as only one third of patients will have a good out come, another third will survive but with a disability, and the remaining third will die.

Nothing short of miraculous

For a very brief time Tobey was comatose, but she wouldn’t be unconscious for long. For the first few weeks, she was unable to walk and had to re-learn how. Her neck was also injured, and she would find talking painful. She began to wonder if she would ever sing again. But she persevered, and began to use music as rehabilitation.

To say that her recovery was miraculous would be an understatement. She learned to walk again and has been able to not only speak but return to singing the way she did before the accident. Only six months after the incident at Nakiska, Tobey appeared in the local media and performed “Who Are You” live. She looked as though nothing had happened at all.

She did not make a complete recovery however. She lost her short-term memory, something that she says is the one thing she regrets losing the most. She has also lost her sense of taste, and as is to be expected after a TBI, she has had some personality changes.

I ask her if her physical fitness had anything to do with how quick she was able to recover. She attributes it more to mental fitness, sheer determination, and stubbornness. I’d say she has the mental fitness to win an Ironman marathon while the competition eating her dust.

Most of all though, she credits music for pulling her through and giving her the motivation. She was composing again before she was allowed off bed rest. She also credits her life experiences for being able to maintain a sense of calmness through it all.

A song dedicated to our troops, our veterans, and their families.

On Remembrance Day 2018 Tobey released a new single titled “Time”. It is her emotional tribute to our active duty personnel, our veterans, and their families. Together, “Time” and “Who Are You” would make the perfect anthem for those verterans with the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) caused by mefloquine toxicity.

People like Tobey are very rare to find. With natural talent and beauty, a social conscience, an amazingly resilient brain, and the ability to inspire others, we are lucky to have someone like her.

In the future, when history recounts those individuals who have had a major impact on Calgary, and were among this country’s brightest shining stars, the historians will count Tobey Kai among them.

Update

After this article was published, Tobey released her latest single “Running”, dedicated to the survivors of breast cancer.

And, not content with having degrees in economics and biology, Tobey decided to add to her collection by studying Chinese medicine and graduated on Saturday, becoming an Accupuncturist.

There could be a doctorate in her future, especially if it will mean she can go into space. Yes, she also wants to be an astronaut. If she put her mind to it, I’m convinced she’d open the first orbiting combination accupuncture clinic/economic think tank.

Stay tuned, because we have not heard the last from her. Not by a long-shot.

D.B.

https://www.facebook.com/tobeykaiofficial/

Vær opmærksom på alle humanitære arbejdere og feriegæster

Læs disse vigtige oplysninger, hvis du har rejst til en malariazone siden 1985.

Sara Thompson var et fredskorps frivilligt. I 2010 gik hun til det vestafrikanske land Burkina Faso, hvor hun skulle tjene i to år i en lille landsby i den østlige del af landet. Hun havde lært fransk, og var ivrig efter at gå til et fransktalende land.

Ligesom ather Peace Corps frivillige går ind i et område, hvor malaria er endemisk, var hun forpligtet til at tage et anti-malarial for profylakse. Ifølge fredskorpsmandatet skal alle frivillige have en konsultation med en fredsorganisationskonsulent. Der vil blive diskuteret de forskellige forskellige medicinoptioner, og en liste over fordele og ulemper ved hver medicin ville blive overskredet, samt de mulige bivirkninger af hvert lægemiddel.

Ifølge Sara var der tre stoffer tilgængelige: doxycyclin, malarone og mefloquine. Men da hun kom til Burkina Faso fik hun en taske indeholdende flere doser mefloquine efter et frafald, som hun måtte underskrive. På ingen tid blev hun underrettet om de mulige bivirkninger hun måtte opleve, bortset fra at blive fortalt at hun måske havde mareridt, men at det ville være okay. Kort tid senere ville hun opdage, at det helt sikkert ikke var okay.

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RPCVs Sara Thompson og Jennifer Mamola fra Health Justice for Peace Corps frivillige, med Rep Ted Poe i sidste uge, efter at Rep Poe delte Sara’s historie som en del af hans vidnesbyrd på House Floor om de negative virkninger, som nogle PCV’er oplever, når de tager mefloquine / larium. RPCVHealthJustice
National Peace Corps Association Facebook Gruppeside

Forventes at tage mefloquine

I 1989 blev en gruppe af fredskorpsfrivillige valgt til at deltage i et lægemiddelforsøg, der testede mefloquins effektivitet som profylaktisk malaria eller behandling. Fredskorpsfrivillige blev udvalgt, fordi det føltes, at de kunne have tillid til at forblive kompatible under hele forsøget. Overholdelse havde været et problem i andre forsøg, der testede mefloquine, da mange ville stoppe med at tage det efter starten af ​​alvorlige bivirkninger. Fredskorpsens frivillige ville ikke være anderledes end andre i denne henseende, kun de måtte skjule deres manglende overholdelse.

Som de frivillige begyndte Sara at opleve ubehagelige bivirkninger. Hun siger, at hun sov meget, og hun har ofte fundet sig svimmel eller lettehår. Hendes følelser begyndte at blive gennemført, da hun siger, at hun ofte ville reagere på situationer uhensigtsmæssigt. Der var tid, hun ville græde uden nogen anstændig grund og ville overreagere i visse situationer.

Hun begyndte at opleve de mest alvorlige neurotoksiske symptomer i slutningen af ​​hendes tjeneste i Afrika og sagde, at hun ville blive svimmel over for opkastning. Efter en særlig distresserende aften gik hun til læge, der fortalte hende, at hun havde en øreinfektion og gav hende medicin til at behandle sin kvalme.

Symptomerne gik ikke væk.

Selv efter at have vendt tilbage til hendes hjem i Midtvesten, svækkede symptomerne ikke. Hun ville ofte snuble som om hun var fuld og blev udsat for pludselige og blændende hovedpine. Hun så en praktiserende læge, men han kunne ikke foretage en diagnose, så hun blev henvist til en neurolog. At være ude af stand til at finde en grund til hendes symptomer, ville neurologen også misdiagnose Sara med et indreøresproblem.

Efter at have talt med en anden fredskorps frivillig, der tidligere havde tjent, blev hun bedt om at søge Dr. Remington Nevin, den ledende myndighed i mefloquine toksicitet. Efter at have mødt med Sara og gennemgå sit diagram, konkluderede han, at hun lider af kronisk kinolin encephalopati, også kendt som kinisme.

Erhvervet hjerneskade

I et signifikant mindretal af patienter er det antaget, at mefloquin ophobes i visse dele af hjernen og forårsager skade. Hjernestammen udføres, og skaden sker til vestibulærsystemet, som er ansvarlig for at sende signaler til hjernen om bevægelse, hovedposition og rumlig orientering.

Faktisk er der en række andre symptomer, hvoraf nogle efterligner PTSD, der fører til hyppig fejldiagnose af lidelsen. Der er ingen test, som i sig selv kan diagnosticere mefloquine toksicitet, og en ordentlig diagnose kan ofte tage måneder. Der er ingen kur mod quinisme, men symptomerne på sygdommen kan dog styres.

Symptomer

Mefloquine toksicitet forårsager en række symptomer, som tidligere nævnt ses nogle også i PTSD. Imidlertid bliver symptomerne på quinisme ikke bedre over tid og reagerer ikke på behandling. Faktisk ved at forsøge at behandle quinisme som PTSD, kan mere skade faktisk ske.

Symptomer på quinisme forårsaget af forgiftning af de neurotoksiske lægemidler mefloquin og tafenoquine-kan omfatte tinnitus, svimmelhed, svimmelhed, paræstesier, angst, forvirring og søvnforstyrrelser som søvnløshed og levende mareridt. Quinisme kan være invaliderende og permanent.

Udtrykket “quinisme” kan virke nyt, men symptomerne på forgiftning fra mefloquine (tidligere markedsført som Lariam®), tafenoquin (markedsført som Krintafel® og Arakoda ™) og relaterede quinoliner er alt for bekendt: Tinnitus. Svimmelhed. Svimmelhed. Paræstesier. Visuelle forstyrrelser. Gastroøsofageale og tarmproblemer. Mareridt. Søvnløshed. Søvnapnø. Angst. Agorafobi. Paranoia. Kognitiv dysfunktion. Depression. Personlighedskifte. Selvmordstanker.

Disse symptomer er ikke “bivirkninger”. De er symptomer på forgiftning af en klasse af lægemiddel, der er neurotoksisk, og det skader hjernen og hjernestammen. Denne forgiftning forårsager en sygdom, og denne sygdom har et navn: Kronisk kinolin encephalopati – også kendt som kinisme.

The Quinism Foundation

Få informeret

Hvis du rejste til en malariazone siden midten til slutningen af 80’erne og tog migfloquine for at forhindre malaria, og du har disse symptomer, skal du evalueres korrekt. Hvert år tager et utalligt antal mennesker med udiagnosticeret mefloquine toksicitet deres eget liv. De bliver despondent, uden at vide, hvorfor de føler den måde, de gør og giver op med alt håb.

Men der er håb. For mange er det bare at vide, at årsagen til, at de er som de er, fordi de blev forgiftet, nok til at give dem en grund til ikke at tage deres eget liv. At vide, at det ikke er deres skyld, kan få nogen til at kæmpe for at leve.

Hvis det, jeg har skrevet her, lyder velkendt for dig på grund af dine egne symptomer eller en andens, skal du klikke på linket til quinism fundamentet. De kan ikke diagnosticere dig, men de vil give dig værdifulde oplysninger for at komme frem i din kamp mod denne sygdom.

Hvis du lider af quinisme, er du ikke alene. Tusindvis af andre er ligesom dig, og som et fællesskab kan de yde en masse støtte, råd og information. De vil stå sammen med dig og lade dig vide, at de er #intetog sammen med dig.

https://onecalgaryvoter.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/8f833-poshcorps_podcast_ep15_transcript_v2.pdf

Posh Corps Podcast Ep. 15: Mefloquine

quinism.org

Quinism Foundation – Hjemmeside

International Quinism Awareness Day, September 19th, 2019

Call to action in cities across the globe.

On September 19th, 2019, the third Veterans Mefloquine Rally will take place in Ottawa. One of its primary goals is to increase awareness about mefloquine within the veteran community in Canada, in order to educate them and hopefully, save some of their lives.

Sadly, Canadian veterans and their families aren’t the only ones whose lives have been destroyed by this toxic drug. In the United States and several other countries around the world other military veterans along with their families are experiencing the same thing.

Another anti-malarial drug, tafenoquine (Krintafel), was tested on a group of Australian troops, and the results indicate that this drug is even more dangerous than mefloquine. Some of those test subjects had taken BOTH mefloquine and tafenoquine.

Civilians also welcome

An overwhelming number of those effected by mefloquine were in the military, however a great many civilians have also had their lives forever changed because of it. These are people who volunteered to do humanitarian work, or were required to travel to a malaria zone for business, or vacationers who wanted to see exotic locations. They have been without a voice and deserve the opportunity to ask for justice.

So the time has come to spread the message of the Ottawa rally around the world. On September 19th, I’m hoping that around the world people will rally in their national capitals. If they can’t make it to their national capital then a protest at the federal building in their town or city would do just fine.

A global effort.

In Ireland, there is a large and determined group of veterans who have been working hard for years to spread awareness and seek justice for what has happened to them. I’m calling on them to rally in Dublin on September 19th, or at their nearest federal government building if they are unable to make the trip.

Veterans in Australia also have a very strong voice, and I am hoping that some will be able to get together in Canberra and/or the provincial capitals.

Whether you are in Washington D.C. , Lisbon, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, or any other city or town. Make a sign and take a stand. Demand to be heard and let the world know what happened to you. Let those in power know that you are out there and you will not be going away.

Together, we can be loud enough for the whole world to hear our message.

#inthistogether

You Can Help Mike & Tim Achieve Their Goals. Here’s How.

You can do your part in the effort to spread quinism awareness by opening your home for an evening.

Mike Rude, courtesy Facebook

There are a number of ways that one can show support for a cause. The most obvious one of course is financially and there isn’t a cause out there that will turn down financial support.

But, there is another way that one can back a good cause other than financially, and that is by making a donation of your self. Volunteering is another way that you can show your support. A gift of your time, a hot meal, a hot shower, a bed for the night, or any or all of the above would go a long way.

For all you veterans out there, it would be an awesome way of helping out your brothers in their time of greatest need, and your kindness would be very greatly appreciated.

Mike Rude

I am going to be going over things with Mike next week to talk about his plans for the tour, so watch for that information to come out in the next few days. He’s getting the pre-trip maintenance done on the truck, and starting to work out his plan of attack.

A tune-up and new wheels in preparation for a cross-country journey.

Tim Brown

Tim Brown, courtesy Facebook

For Tim Brown, fighting quinism is a daily battle, but it is one he has learned is worth the fight. He trains and exercises daily, and is now extremely conscious of the importance of nutrition in the fight against the brain disease.

He mission is to spread awareness not only of quinism, but of the hope its sufferers have of living a better quality of life.

His plan is to get on his bicycle on June 22nd and head for Edmonton. From there, where Tim goes will be entirely up to you. You see, Tim’s original plan was to bike his way from Vernon, B.C. to Edmonton, Alberta.

However, he’s also willing to take on a challenge and go further if it is possible.

This is where you come in.

A good soul in eastern Quebec sent me a message letting me know that he would offer up a hot shower, a hot meal, and a bed for the night. I passed the information along and then got to thinking.

Something like this would help both Mike and Tim immensely. Neither have the sponsorship of wealthy patrons and are doing this themselves, with their own time, effort , and yes, money. To know that they would have your support would mean so much to them, and it will help them plan their tours as they try to connect with as many veterans as possible.

If you would be willing to help, send an email to imtadvnetwork@gmail.com, or message me on Facebook (Derek Bodner or the International mefloquine/tafenoquine Advocacy Network) and I will pass it along.

Any donation would be greatly appreciated.

Any way that would be able to help Mike, Tim, and the rest of our veterans will go a long way to saving lives, and would be very greatly appreciated by them and their families.

D.B.

Coming Soon: Rude Awakening Coming For Government & Department of Nat’l Defense

Two Canadian Veterans Embark On Cross-Country Tour To Bring Awareness To Their Plight.

Two veterans will soon be setting out on a cross-country tour to raise awareness for quinism. It is a disease of the brain stem and vestibular system, brought about by taking a drug called mefloquine.

Across Canada, thousands of veterans could be effected and not be aware of it. They are on a mission to spread the word to as many as they possibly can.

One doing it in his black pick up, the other on his bike.

I tell their stories in an article coming out soon.

International Mefloquine Advocates Network

https://it.insideover.com/guerra/soldati-italiani-vittime-della-sindrome-vietnam.html

Italian soldiers victims of the “Vietnam syndrome”

About a week or so ago, I noticed one of my posts being shared on Facebook. There’s nothing unusual about that, it happens often, but what was unusual is that when this post was shared, the person sharing it spoke Spanish, and commented on the post in it.

It suddenly struck me that mefloquine has effected people in countries across the globe who speak languages other than my native tongue. So, I thought the best thing to do would be to start translating my posts into spanish. It also occurred to me that there were a lot of veterans here in Canada that might live in Quebec and only speak french.

So, I figured it would be a good idea to translate them into french while I was at it (thank God for Google Translate is all I have to say). WordPress provides me with a number of statistics about my posts including which countries my posts are being read in. In Europe France, Italy, and Germany have the most clicks, so I thought I might check into this.

Once again utilizing Google Translate, I took a look at what the situation was like in Italy, and it didn’t take me long to become very alarmed at what I was seeing. Italian troops had been taking mefloquine since the first Gulf War in 1991 and from what I can tell, it is still being given to them.

http://www.ilgiornale.it/news/esteri/follia-i-soldati-colpa-pillola-954029.html

Madness among soldiers blamed on pill

Rates of suicide among Italian veterans is high as is the number of veterans diagnosed with PTSD. Although there has been some media coverage of the issue in Italy it doesn’t appear as though anything is being done about it, and I could find no sign of any kind of advocacy activity whatsoever.

This has prompted me to take some action that I hope will begin to marshal all of the available resources into one place, and have a wide reach globally. To begin with I sent an email to Marco Marcolin, a deputy in the Italian parliament who had been looking into the high number of suicides among veterans.

I gave him as much information as I could while still trying to be brief. I sent numerous attachments to him, academic articles, etc. that would tell him what he needed to know. I also told him I needed to find a way to get in touch with as many Italian veterans as possible, and fast.

The International Mefloquine Advocates Network

Obviously an Italian translation would now need to be done and I thought I might as well make a German one while I was at it. Next someplace to start posting things in a manner such that there wouldn’t be 5 different translations of an article going on a page at a time.

To solve this problem, I set up a Facebook group called the International Mefloquine Advocates Network. I have also created a page for it, as well as pages for translations in french, italian, spanish, and german. My posts to these pages will be translated prior to me posting on them obviously.

It is my hope that through this group advocacy and education efforts can be made uniform, in order to begin organizing efforts globally. It is also my hope that experts in the field will also utilize it to provide the most up to date medical and legal news and views.

Mounting a co-ordinated effort

By coming together in this way our voice will only get louder, until the message has been heard and understood by all. We’re a long, long way from that just yet, but things have to start somewhere.

This is also a group for any and all who have an interest in this including advocates, veterans, Peace Corps volunteers, vacationers, as well as their caregivers, friends and/or family, and certainly medical professionals as well.

No matter where you are in the world, you can be a part of the same world-wide battle, and add your voice to the many others that have now begun to rise up.

The coming threat: tafenoquine

The next generation of quinoline anti-malarial has hit the market in Australia, and by all accounts it is mefloquine on steroids. Going by the brand name Krintafel, tafenoquine was tested on members of the Australian Defense Force. Judging by reports, yet another monster is being set loose among an unsuspecting public.

#inthistogether

There are moments when things happen in life that cross the barriers of location, language, and culture, and one of those things unfortunately is chronic quinoline encephalopathy, or, quinism. Masses of people around the world have suffered and there are many more out there who don’t know what is happening to them right now.

Statistically speaking, the total number of people in any single country who is currently suffering from quinoline toxicity will be extremely low, and as such it is hard for their voices to be heard. But when those voices from all around the world rise as one, their message is heard by all.

We’re all stronger because we’re #inthistogether.

Now if you’ll all excuse me, I have some translating to do.

D.B.

Facebook Groups

  • International Mefloquine Advocates Network (EN)
  • Red Internacional de Defensores de Mefloquina (SP)
  • La mefloquina internazionale difende la rete (IT)
  • Réseau international des défenseurs de la méfloquine (FR)
  • Internationales Mefloquine Advocates Netzwerk (DE)
  • Internationaal Mefloquine pleit voor netwerk (NL)

Who Are You – Tobey Kai

Featured

Using music as rehabilitation, a talented Calgary musician overcomes a Traumatic Brain Injury, and is an inspiration for others.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

Before last year my social media experience was limited to Facebook, but that changed last year when I decided that the time had come for me to do something different with my life. Having a larger presence on social media would go a long way towards accomplishing the things that I wanted to do, so I now have accounts across several platforms.

An Instagram account was a no brainer, and I soon found out that there was more to this app than just the Kardashians and other assorted “influencers” (I can’t believe they get paid for this shit, honestly). As I scrolled through the accounts that Instagram thought I’d be interested in, one stood out.

I was first drawn in by her photo. She is possessed of those qualities that are highly desired by those shallower aspects that are inherent to men. In short I thought she was hot. I started to follow her and checked out her profile. She was a local girl with an incredible musical talent, university educated, and she had also suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. I needed to find out more about this intriguing person, named Tobey Kai.

Natural talent

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From Tobey Kai’s Facebook page.

Tobey’s musical talents come naturally, both of her parents are musicians who came to Canada in the mid-’80’s. From a young age, she showed an interest in music, taking her first piano lesson at only 6years old. She says that her singing abilities came from her mother, who also sings opera.

The family would come to Calgary by way of Vancouver, and Tobey continued to study music, enhancing her natural born talent. She has a younger brother, and an “adopted sister” who has been in her life since her teen years.

You might think that Tobey would pursue a music education at the Alberta College of Art, but her interests also extend beyond music. Instead, she has not one but TWO bachelor’s degrees, and they have absolutely NOTHING to do with each other, holding degrees in biology and economics.

Animal lover

Courtesy Facebook

http://tobeykai.com/

Equal to her passion for music is her passion for animals. She combines the two at her music studio where she gives private music and singing lessons. She has resident cats and dogs that will like to come and visit while she’s giving lessons, and she mentions this on her website giving anyone who might have allergies a heads up.

Conservation of the world’s oceans is another one of her causes and she is an advocate for the world’s sharks, whose populations have nearly been wiped out in Asia due to poaching. Shark fin soup has long been a delicacy in some Asian countries, but ever decreasing numbers have led to the dish been banned.


All life is precious. Meet Freyja, one of my many daughters I’ve had the honour of caring for over the years. A ferocious predator (not unlike a shark), but has never struck me because I haven’t given her reason to. 
Don’t be afraid of what you don’t understand. 
#alllifematters

To her, all life is precious, and she would soon come to know just exactly how very precious it is. On the home page of her website, you can listen to a song she wrote called “Ondine”, which she has dedicated to ocean and shark conservation.

A cagey polyglot

As if all of this weren’t impressive enough, she also speaks fluent German. I figure that she would be able to carry out lengthy conversations in at least three languages: English, Mandarin, and German. I ask her how many languages she can speak, and she’s coy about answering saying only that she “does dabble in a few languages”. Based on what I’ve learned about her so far, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that she could single-handedly interpret a meeting of the UN Security Council.

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Touched by Alzheimers

In 2017 Tobey began writing a song about her grandfather, whom she lost to Alzheimer’s disease. Called “Who Are You”, it recounts her grandfather’s final words to her “Who are you, young lady? Are you lost?” It is a poignant song about an experience that many families go through, and can relate to. It would be several months before she would record the song however. At the beginning of 2018, something would happen that had a lasting and profound effect on her life.

Who Are You – Written for Alzheimer’s and brain injury awareness.

Everything changes in an instant

For Tobey, recreation is something done outdoors no matter what season it is and whether it’s on a bike or a snowboard, physical activity is just as much a part of her life as music. She’s as much at home on the back of a bicycle as she is on a snowboard, and it was while enjoying a day on the latter that things would change forever.

Sunday, January 14th was a pleasant day to be in the mountains, with temperatures only a couple degrees below zero. Deciding to take advantage of the beautiful weather, Tobey decided to go snowboarding at Nakiska that day. At the end of her first run, when she got to the bottom of the hill, she slipped and fell to the ground.

Moments later a skier collided with her, impacting her left temple. Almost immediately, she knew that something was very wrong. She had lost feeling below her neck, her fingers were twitching, and she knew that she was bleeding from somewhere underneath her helmet. Emergency crews were able to stabilize her and transport her to Calgary by ground ambulance. She remembers much of the hour long ride back to the city, but some memories are gone.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

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Your brain is covered by a thick, fibrous membrane called dura mater. Beneath the dura mater is the archnoid mater, under which cerebralspinal fluid helps to cushion the brain. A tear in a blood vessel can cause blood to accumulate in this space, putting pressure on the brain. Surgery may have to be performed to drain the blood and stop the hemorraging.

The odds of making a full recovery are against someone with a subarachnoid hemorrage as only one third of patients will have a good out come, another third will survive but with a disability, and the remaining third will die.

Nothing short of miraculous

For a very brief time Tobey was comatose, but she wouldn’t be unconscious for long. For the first few weeks, she was unable to walk and had to re-learn how. Her neck was also injured, and she would find talking painful. She began to wonder if she would ever sing again. But she persevered, and began to use music as rehabilitation.

To say that her recovery was miraculous would be an understatement. She learned to walk again and has been able to not only speak but return to singing the way she did before the accident. Only six months after the incident at Nakiska, Tobey appeared in the local media and performed “Who Are You” live. She looked as though nothing had happened at all.

She did not make a complete recovery however. She lost her short-term memory, something that she says is the one thing she regrets losing the most. She has also lost her sense of taste, and as is to be expected after a TBI, she has had some personality changes.

I ask her if her physical fitness had anything to do with how quick she was able to recover. She attributes it more to mental fitness, sheer determination, and stubbornness. I’d say she has the mental fitness to win an Ironman marathon while the competition eating her dust.

Most of all though, she credits music for pulling her through and giving her the motivation. She was composing again before she was allowed off bed rest. She also credits her life experiences for being able to maintain a sense of calmness through it all.

A song dedicated to our troops, our veterans, and their families.

On Remembrance Day 2018 Tobey released a new single titled “Time”. It is her emotional tribute to our active duty personnel, our veterans, and their families. Together, “Time” and “Who Are You” would make the perfect anthem for those verterans with the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) caused by mefloquine toxicity.

People like Tobey are very rare to find. With natural talent and beauty, a social conscience, an amazingly resilient brain, and the ability to inspire others, we are lucky to have someone like her.

In the future, when history recounts those individuals who have had a major impact on Calgary, and were among this country’s brightest shining stars, the historians will count Tobey Kai among them.

D.B.

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