Two stories on the show today about people on a journey. The first, about a man cycling across Canada to raise awareness about mental illness. The second, about a runner whose goal is to complete a marathon in every US State and every Canadian province and territory. When Gary spoke with them, both were close to reaching their goals.
60-year-old Mel Thompson spent the summer on a 100 day journey across Canada. Thompson, along with his wife Carol and daughter Lindsay participated in The Ride for Mental Health to raise awareness about mental illness and get people talking about the issues surrounding it.
Although mental illness affects one in five Canadians at some point in their lives, there is still a social stigma attached to mental illness that keeps many people from seeking the help they need. It is the disease that no one likes to talk about, but it has a devastating impact on people who suffer from it, their families and society in general. The Ride for Mental Health aims to bring the issues of mental illness out in the open, get people to share their own experiences with it, and debunk the myths and misconceptions of mental illness. In addition to raising awareness, The Ride for Mental Health aims to raise $250,000 to support mental health programs across Canada.
Mel Thompson understands first-hand the struggles of dealing with mental illness. His ride is inspired by his daughter Lindsay, who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder as a teenager. “No one is immune from mental illness and when it hits you, or someone you love, you are never prepared,”says Thompson. “But there is treatment and recovery and that is how our family stays optimistic. Lindsay hopes to one day be able to return to school and work and we hope these dreams will come true.”
68 year old Charlie Viers from Louisiana loves running, especially in marathons. He’s completed a marathon in every state and has almost bagged a marathon in every province and territory in Canada. Charlie is a member of the 50 States Marathon Club. So what keeps this guy running? That’s what Gary wanted to find out when he spoke with Charlie in our ‘Runners’ segment.
We’ll also check in with Gidzilla in Florida through her Mullberry Bush blog. The music featured in this episode is by Uncle Seth. Please take a few minutes and fill out the Association for Downloadable Media survey and email us with your comments and stories of outdoor adventure at firstname.lastname@example.org