How it all started
Headsup was founded by three Sport Management students from Brock University, all of whom experienced multiple concussions during their amateur sports playing career. The idea originated after founder Ryan Sutton suffered his latst and most severe concussion in 2016. Ryan, alongside founders Seth Mendelsohn, and Tim Hart; tried to figure out ways to spread awareness of traumatic brain injuries and to educate people on the impact they have on people’s every day lives. Headsup was born out of these many brainstorming hours to be a social purpose brand that provides people with accurate and up-to date information on concussions. Their collective dream was to provide a service that has a community focus, and gives people suffering concussions an outlet to learn more about their symptoms.
GOALS AND AMBITIONS
The main goals of Headsup is to provide awareness, education, and fundraising for concussion research which is why 15% of all Headsup revenue generated through it’s merchandise sales will be donated to a specific concussion charity.
Our ambition is to give people who have or are suffering from a concussion a platform where they can learn and share their stories to increase awareness and education. Whether you have been personally affected or know someone dear to you, we aim to ensure everyone has a voice.
Meet the headsup team
Ryan has suffered four major concussions throughout his amateur sports career. Ryan deals with persistent symptoms such as short term memory loss, vision problems and headaches. He was advised by doctors to stop playing contact sports at the age of 18. Around this time, Ryan began fully understand how concussions can truly affect peoples lives. He then decided to dedicate his life to helping others who share similar experiences with concussions. His goal is to have everyone fully understand the importance of the injury, especially the implications to a persons long term health.
Seth suffered his only diagnosed concussion in his senior year of high school playing Football. His concussion happened in practice right before the season started. He was told he was diagnosed with a mild concussion, yet still was unable to play for the majority of the season. Throughout his amateur football career, he began to notice a trend of his teammates not handling their concussions properly and going right back out on the field after taking substantial hits to the head. As a result, Seth was thus driven to help create the Headsup brand as a way for people to gain more insight on traumatic brain injuries in sport. His goal is for Headsup to become the leading voice for people who have suffered concussions, as well as those who have been there to support loved ones and friends that have been affected by the devastating symptoms.
Tim was forced from contact sport as a result of sustaining six diagnosed head injuries throughout his amateur athletic career. He believes that the best way to prevent other people from experiencing the same concussion problems he endured is to take action. Co-founding Headsup has provided him the platform to do exactly that. Through the brand, Tim hopes to one day lobby for policy change in sport and to help further the development of protective gear for athletes.
The Canadian Concussion Centre conducts research based out of the Krembil Neuroscience Centre, at Toronto Western Hospital. They are focused on examining the possible correlation between repeated concussions and late deterioration of brain function. This problem is suspected to be especially frequent after repeated concussions in sports, but may also occur after concussions involving motor vehicle crashes, industrial injuries or falls.
The main goal of the research team at the Canadian Concussion Centre is to examine individuals who have sustained multiple concussions from playing sports and are at greater risk of developing CTE.
The Canadian Concussion Centre is the world's first program dedicated to a four pronged approach to concussions – research, education, diagnosis and treatment. The project is based out of the Krembil Neuroscience Centre at the University Health Network's Toronto Western Hospital. It is led by internationally acclaimed concussion expert, Dr. Charles Tator. The research team includes some of the world leaders in brain injury research, imaging, genetics, clinical care, neuropsychology, and psychiatry.
In May 2013, the Canadian Concussion Centre published their findings after studying the first ever autopsied brains of six former CFL players the in Human Neuroscience medical journal.
The findings were that three of the six players had acquired Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The research team discovered that although all the players had shown signs of late neurocognitive decline, not all of them showed signs of CTE. The three players without CTE had pathological diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson's disease
A clinical research study involving former professional football and hockey players, and other professional athletes who undergo a neurological, neuropsychiatric and neuropsychological assessment as well as brain scans (MRIs), Magnetoencephalography's (MEG) and PET scans to help better understand the changes in the brain that may occur due to concussions
Improving diagnostic imaging techniques to diagnose the full spectrum of concussions – from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome (PCS) to CTE – and to find ways to grade the severity of these conditions.
Researching new treatment approaches for people with PCS, especially those with multiple concussions in order to diminish cognitive and emotional symptoms, and minimize the neurological decline in CTE.
Searching for biomarkers including blood tests that may be used to diagnose a concussion as well as identifying any susceptibility to concussion within families through genetics.
Providing research findings and recommendations to sports organizations, employers and health care professionals so the best care can be provided during return to sports, school or work. Strive to ensure that all sports can be enjoyed by athletes of all ages and abilities with minimal risk of further concussions. We want young people to keep playing collision sports, but we want these sports to be as safe as possible. We also want school and work environments to be as safe as possible and return to school or work to occur on a graduated basis with any necessary accommodations being provided.
Providing best practices to those who are returning to school or work so that normal lifestyle can be restored as quickly as possible after a concussion or during the management of PCS for those who do not recover fully within a month of sustaining a concussion.
What headsup Offers
Headsup Apparel & Team Apparel
The majority of our donations are generated through the selling of Headsup Apparel. With every item sold we donate %15 directly to concussion research. Buying our apparel is the responsible purchase that is both charitable and fashionable. Our apparel is designed with a purpose; keep it plain, simple, & stylish at the same time. We are Headsup and we support concussion research!
Headsup also offers a customizable option for team apparel, or apparel for events. If you and your peers want to help spread concussion awareness on a larger scale go to the Contact Us page and email us about a Team Order.
Athlete and Concussion testimonies
Headsup wants to hear about your experience with concussions! Whether it was minor or severe, we want to hear how you dealt with having a brain injury, or how you helped someone who suffered from one. Each week we will post a feature on social media and YouTube containing the story of an individual who suffered from a concussion. The purpose of this is to create an interactive platform that uses other people’s experience with concussions to help you understand the proper ways to identify the symptoms and learn more about the recovery process.
Want to share your story, please select the Contact Us tab to fill in your information and story on the site. We encourage you to join the Headsup Team today and help spread awareness!
The ultimate concussion platform
At Headsup we want to unite people who have suffered concussions and who may seem alone in their recovery. We personally know how alienating and lonely you can feel when you have a concussion. We know all too well what it’s like being told that the symptoms are all in your head and we know exactly what you are going through. Our goal is to give people who’s lives have been affected by concussions a voice and community to reach out too. Through awareness, education, and research we will help bridge the gap between those suffering and those not understanding what it is to be concussed.