We're absolutely buzzing about the massive challenge our supporter and good pal, Dan Keeley, is undertaking to support CALM, running from Rome all the way home to London. Here's a few words from the man himself...
If you’re reading these words, I can’t thank you enough for engaging with my adventure and wanting to know more!
Starting August 25th 2017, I'm taking on a 1250-mile self-supported running adventure from Rome To Home (the Colosseum back to the London Eye) as my biggest platform yet to share my story and keep men alive by talking.
In the summer of 2012 I experienced a full-blown manic episode when on holiday in Italy – an episode which culminated with me believing I was ‘the chosen one’ and preaching from the central lane of a major motorway at rush hour (not to be recommended!). What followed was time spent in psychiatric wards (both in Italy and the UK), a clear diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and the inevitable crippling depression which had me wanting to take my own life.
Now 5 years on, I’m sharing my story with any audience who will have me, all in the hope of encouraging others (particularly guys) to speak up when they’re struggling the most, to play my part in normalising the conversation surrounding mental health issues, to battle the stigma and ultimately to show others that you can live life to the full with the right love, support & professional guidance in place.
Working closely with the team at CALM , my aim is to blow the roof of my fundraising efforts and raise as much awareness as possible about male suicide in the UK - the biggest single killer of men under the age of 45. With 12 men taking their own life every single day in the UK, I'm calling on as many of my supporters as possible to engage with the adventure, to help spread my message, to donate if you're feeling generous, to support me with what you can (be that through your media channels, kit donations or your time) and to join me as we collectively keep men alive by talking!
My 65-day journey will take me from the Colosseum, up through Tuscany, across the spine of Italy and up towards the Great St Bernard Pass in the stunning Aosta Valley in the Italian Alps. From there I’ll drop down to Lake Geneva before heading North to Paris and crossing the channel to Newhaven. ‘The Home Leg’ will then take me (and as many who wish to join me) over the South Downs towards Eastbourne (where I grew up) before swinging by my old secondary school ahead of the final blast up to London via Sevenoaks (my home town) and finishing at the London Eye.
As I hope you’ve gathered, this is as much an awareness-raising challenge as it is an adventure-challenge, and I’m wanting to bring as many of you along with me for the ride. Thank you for your support, for being part of the story, and hope to speak very soon.