After 7,000 km, I am have reached the easternmost point of North America: Cape Spear, NL which is the endpoint of my journey! Including my TCE giving opportunity, my fundraising total sits at over 20,000!
This summer, I will be pursuing the adventure of a lifetime as I embark on a three-month bike ride across Canada to raise funds for children’s mental health. A cause that is near and dear to my heart as I faced my own struggles with mental health after being diagnosed with ADHD as a young child.
My mental health journey, just like many, has been a rocky one. I was diagnosed with ADHD very young and exhibited most (if not all) of the tell-tale signs of inattention and hyperactivity. The concept that my mind worked differently from others was a very tough idea for me to grasp and an even easier one to disregard. As a six-year-old with ADHD, I wanted nothing less than to go and speak to a psychologist and take medication. However, I was embarrassed about my differences, leading me to ignore my mental health issues altogether. I spent the first 20 years of my life hiding such a huge part of myself from everyone, holding tight to what I perceived was my deepest darkest secret. I was functioning but keeping this particular secret created a constant weight that came to a head more than once in the form of anger, depression and anxiety throughout my adolescence and into adulthood.
Looking back, there are so many things I wish I would have known or could say to educate my younger self. It was not until I chose to take ownership of my mental health as an adult that I was able to learn and better manage the conditions that plagued me. 70% of all adult mental health illnesses start in early childhood and as many as 5 out of 6 children in Canada with diagnosable mental health disorders will not receive the treatment they need. Staggering facts like these alongside my own experience is driving my fundraising and journey to ride my bike across all 10 Canadian provinces, a distance of over 7,000 km (4350 miles), to raise awareness and funds for the George Hull Centre (GHC) Foundation.
The GHC is a leading children's mental health centre in Canada serving thousands of children and families each year. This five-star charity focuses on providing mental health services that include a community outpatient clinic, prevention and early intervention programs, residential and in-home services, and specialized programs for school and substance abuse.
Changing the trajectory of children's mental health is not an easy challenge. My goal is to raise $20,000 over my three-month-long ride which will go directly to improving the quality of life of children and their families. Your ability to make an impact has never been more remarkable, with $0.82 of every dollar donated going directly to supporting the GHC causes.
This ride is dedicated to my Grandma Judy, who in 2020 passed away after an extended battle with brain cancer. She taught me to love myself and everyone around me for who they are and is dearly missed every day.
If you'd like to donate via my TC Energy Giving Opportunity where ~$14000 has already been raised and matching is available for TC Energy employees, please use the following link: https://tcenergy.benevity.org/community/fundraiser/52564
. I have personally donated $1000 dollars to this cause which has been matched by TC Energy.