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You are not alone - Raising awareness for mental health and iIlness!

You are not alone - Raising awareness for mental health and iIlness!

Personal message

You're not alone!

As an ultra-runner, I've pushed myself mentally and physically to the edge. But while I choose to take on these battles, there are far too many people fighting battles uphill daily. Sometimes we see their pain, sometimes we don't. That's why I've decided to reach out - to help my fellow runners break through walls and to help those fighting hidden barriers to keep going. 

My brother, Ryan, suffered with and fought depression and anxiety for over two years. He was an incredibly clever young man with a brilliant sense of humour that was unfortunately debilitated by mental illness. My parents stood by his side through various medications and treatments; he knew how loved he was and how he wanted to live his best life. 

Over the last few months he started a treatment called TRE (trauma release exercises) that helped him so much that he was able to leave the house and even started university. 

He was selfless, helping others going through the same thing, and while he hated the idea of being on medication, he encouraged others. But in his selflessness, he lost the strength needed to fight his own illness. He took his own life the night I finished my fourth Two Oceans Ultra Marathon - a battle that now pales in comparison to what he went through daily.  

Selfless until the end, my brother never gave up. Mental illness, much like other life-threatening diseases, took over. This was one thing he could not control. 

I will be running the Cape Town Festival of Running 100km to honour my brothers life and to raise awareness for mental health and iIllness and help break barriers around suicide stigma. It will be the farthest I've run, and probably the hardest. I don't want to do this alone either. 

So, together with my running club, Century City Athletics Club and Fitness studio, BOUNDFIT, we will run as a team, supporting each other on this epic mental and physical journey, much like we all need to support those that may be suffering in silence. Our run will be dedicated to these fighters and to the families who have suffered the loss of a loved one to this illness. 

 

And I'm not doing this alone: 

Five awesome runners are going the distance and raising funds for this cause. They'll be running for loved ones affected and to help bring mental health issues to greater prominence in all areas of our lives. 

Fundiswa Sandi

"Mental Illness was never a subject that was highlighted or discussed in my circle. Currently I am of different mindset following direct interaction with various individuals. I've also quite shocked to learn that a third of our population in SA suffers from Mental illnesses and more than 70% don’t receive treatment. This is not common knowledge to most people and the question is. I want to help get the information and message across to our people?"

Roumelia Shinowa 

“Over the past few years I have faced many challenges which brought me to the brink of depression. I have had to fight my basic instincts of succumbing to any feelings of unworthiness, defeat, self-doubt or giving up. What I have learned through my journey is that there is a stigma in society when it comes to showing any signs of not copying with anything mentally. It is seen as sign of weakness. I am therefore running in support of this cause to bring awareness to the fact that mental health is as important as physical health and that it is okay to be not be okay. We need to get to a place where we ensure people know that they are not alone and can reach out whenever they need whatever kind of support. You do not need to be medically diagnosed to seek council. Healthy minds need support just as much as a healthy person goes to the doctor for check-ups with no obvious illness.” 

Luca Boyana

 "I'm running to help raise the awareness of mental health issues and how running has helped me and others."  

Alastair Sproul 

“I'm running in solidarity with those that take on these physical and mental struggles daily.”  

Bertie Cloete 

“Know that there are people who are ready to help. Call on me any time - we can go for a run.”

 

You are not alone. 

The organisation I have chosen to support is The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (www.sadag.org), the largest mental health organisation in the country which actively assists those struggling with depression, bipolar, trauma, panic and anxiety, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. 

The reality is that 1 in 4 people struggle with mental health problems, there are 23 suicides a day in South Africa and almost 70% of them are between the age of 18 and 39. That means there are people in our team of runners affected by this. We want you to know, whether your battle is getting to the finish line or getting through the day, you are not alone. 

Kindly donate if you feel within your heart that mental illness needs to be addressed and those suffering know that they can reach out and be helped. Donations are not limited up to race day and will continue onto many races. And if you can't show support financially, join us in completing this challenge by taking up the 100km, 50km or 25km relay (in a team of 5). 

Mental health is just as important as physical health. You wouldn’t dismiss broken bones, so please don’t dismiss broken minds.

Thank you to all those that will be running/walking this journey with me and for all the support and love we have received as a family. We are here for you if you need help too and would like to share your story.

 

My baby boetie, this is for you!

Donations

  • Aug 21, 2019 - R 205.64
  • "??" - Richard Hazelden

  • Aug 21, 2019 - USD $ 13.03
  • "You are not alone. " - Amy Visser

  • Aug 20, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "I hope that the message of mental illness may reach many more people. Great cause by amazing people. " - Avile

  • Aug 08, 2019 - R 15.42
  • "Do not give in." - Fundiswa Sandi

  • Jul 29, 2019 - R 71.97
  • "Race Day Donation" - Anonymous

  • Jul 27, 2019 - R 591.22
  • "Amazing, may #NotAlone grow from strength to strength!" - BSeen Sports

  • Jul 26, 2019 - R 500.00
  • "What we saw on Saturday was incredibly moving and inspiring. Well done!" - Mathieson and McKenna families

  • Jul 22, 2019 - R 2 010.00
  • "Inspiring. We with you all on your journey. Now and for the days ahead" - Dave Jenny Kyle Cammie

  • Jul 20, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "????" - A Davey

  • Jul 20, 2019 - R 205.64
  • "Keep hope alive! " - Carla & Werner

  • Jul 20, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "An incredible tribute Bee & friends. Thank you for putting your bodies through such a physical challenge to help those whose challenge goes unseen. " - Donald & Yvonne

  • Jul 19, 2019 - USD $ 13.17
  • "Roumelia-So proud of you for supporting such a worthy cause. We can never talk about mental health enough.x" - Rej

  • Jul 19, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "Roumelia you’re such an inspiration to all, all the best for tomorrow " - Nwabisa Motloung

  • Jul 19, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "Good luck for tomorrow. X" - Willemien

  • Jul 19, 2019 - R 205.64
  • "Best of Luck B! Backing you all the way! Lots of love" - Chantelle T

  • Jul 19, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "Best of luck everyone. Super excited to be on the road with you guys tomorrow." - Ronnie, Tracy & Rachel

  • Jul 19, 2019 - R 100.00
  • "x" - Tatum

  • Jul 19, 2019 - USD $ 10.52
  • "<3" - Zoe

  • Jul 19, 2019 - R 359.87
  • "Bianca you're simply awesome. Making people know they're #NotAlone in this battle." - Willanie

  • Jul 19, 2019 - USD $ 7.57
  • "You are a strong woman B" - Rue

  • Jul 19, 2019 - USD $ 15.16
  • "All my love and support from the other side of the world ??" - Candice Joubert

  • Jul 18, 2019 - R 205.64
  • "A little something goes along way.. Believe in your cause every day." - Karen Barnard

  • Jul 18, 2019 - R 507.50
  • "Good luck Bianca! You're an inspiration! " - Travers Henrick

  • Jul 18, 2019 - R 205.64
  • ""It's not what you have that is important but what you do with what you have, Fundi. I wish you the BEST of everything."" - Mntungwa

  • Jul 18, 2019 - R 2 056.40
  • "Great effort... RIP Ryan. Much love Douwene xxx" - Douwene

  • Jul 18, 2019 - R 1 000.00
  • "Love as a verb... you are amazing!!!" - Mandy

  • Jul 18, 2019 - R 205.64
  • "Thank you Fundi, all of the very best for the 100ks" - Bro Ish

  • Jul 18, 2019 - R 205.64
  • "All the best for the run. Huge respect for doing this and for giving a voice for those sufferring in their mental prisons. It doesn't go unnoticed. " - Anon

  • Jul 17, 2019 - R 154.23
  • "Fundiswa, my friend, Co runner, my sister. I look up to you. Thank you for everything you do. Mental illness is taboo, you man up and move on. I'm learning how to cope. All the best. Love you" - Vinoda

  • Jul 17, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "Thank you for creating awareness xx" - Sunet

  • Jul 17, 2019 - R 100.00
  • "We find strength in each other! Lots of love" - Chantal

  • Jul 17, 2019 - USD $ 113.09
  • "You got this B! We are so proud of you and know that Ryan would have been too. Happy memories of your boetie on the run. hugs fr Ireland" - Devlin family

  • Jul 17, 2019 - R 1 000.00
  • "." - Anonymous

  • Jul 17, 2019 - R 1 000.00
  • "Stay strong" - Gavin & Sharron

  • Jul 17, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "God Bless B. Ryan will be in our heart forever xx" - Koutsoudis family

  • Jul 17, 2019 - R 210.00
  • "We will be with in spirit all the way Bee. We are so proud of what you are doing in memory of Ryan and to help others in need. You are an inspiration! Love you" - The Colsons

  • Jul 17, 2019 - R 2 056.40
  • "Good luck to all those running for the cause in CT this weekend " - Billy Grant

  • Jul 16, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "In memory of a special man " - Kayla Koutsoudis

  • Jul 16, 2019 - USD $ 37.94
  • "I salute you for your discipline to pursue your brothers dream further" - Androulla Georgiou

  • Jul 16, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "You got this B! We’ll be #runningforRyan too ??" - Currie Clan

  • Jul 16, 2019 - R 203.00
  • "What a wonderful way to celebrate a beautiful life " - Lindie Koupis

  • Jul 16, 2019 - R 205.64
  • "In memory of those who struggled and lost the fight. " - Debbie

  • Jul 11, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "You rock Bianca!" - Century City Athletics Club

  • Jul 10, 2019 - R 507.50
  • "#inspired!" - Gary Petersen

  • Jul 04, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "Support this all the way, love it! " - Lieze #Feisty

  • Jun 27, 2019 - R 1 028.20
  • "Thank you for choosing to highlight this cause. " - Jenny and Ilse

  • Jun 26, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "?" - Cam

  • Jun 24, 2019 - R 308.46
  • "Love you Boo Boo " - Carren Duffy

  • Jun 22, 2019 - R 205.64
  • "Wishing you luck for your race! You are amazingly strong!" - Jen & Martin

  • Jun 06, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "I have been doubting myself for Comrades but on Sunday every time I look at my 'Bee-racelet' you gave me, I know you will be there with me." - Stuart

  • May 31, 2019 - R 101.50
  • "Bee... I know what you going through. I back you all the way my friend. " - Candy B

  • May 30, 2019 - R 200.00
  • "Love and Hugs to you and your precious family x" - Lynne

  • May 28, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "Hey Bee, I'll be with you on the 100Km run !" - Steve Akester

  • May 27, 2019 - R 1 010.00
  • "RIP Ryan " - Kroon

  • May 24, 2019 - R 510.00
  • "what a wonderful thing you are doing for your brother Bianca" - Gill

  • May 23, 2019 - R 500.00
  • "Well done B! A truly worthy cause." - Nieburg family

  • May 23, 2019 - R 1 028.20
  • "A great charity. Well done Bianca. " - Billy Grant

  • May 23, 2019 - R 1 028.20
  • "This is a special family who deserve your support and Bianca, it is a privilege to know you. " - Douwene

  • May 22, 2019 - R 500.00
  • "Thank you for being so brave by telling your story. Thank you for being so strong to run this race and to support others along the way, " - Inspired by you

  • May 22, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "So Proud of you Benade ??" - Anonymous

  • May 22, 2019 - R 205.64
  • "You are an incredible woman and I cannot wait to help you with training. Wish I could donate more. Much love coach!!!" - Nic

  • May 22, 2019 - R 1 028.20
  • "Love you B...stay strong" - Jody

Donate to this charity

Statistics

Donations to date

R 30 028.20

Fundraising target

R 30 000.00
Donate

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group Logo

The South African Depression and Anxirty Group is a Mental Health NGO offering free telephonic counselling for Mental Health isuues. SADAG is also invoved in other projects including teen suice prevention and mental health education and awareness.