Ride or Die - A journey for Niamh ("Neave")

Ride or Die -
A journey for Niamh (“Neave”)

Thank you so much for your consideration in supporting the O’Brien Family in our quest to provide other families with help for their children going through mental health, identity, and addiction issues.

Ride Or Die is the brutally honest name of our effort to raise funds for Niamh’s memorial charity. On September 13th, Niamh’s birthday, Colleen will support Brendan’s bicycle trek from Vancouver to the border of Mexico – a 2800 km ride, to raise awareness and support for the programs of Odyssey I, which is part of the Boys & Girls Club, South Coast BC.

Odyssey I consists of youth and family counsellors with a special focus on alcohol and drug issues. They offer a supportive atmosphere, where youth feel comfortable to explore alcohol and drug-related issues and consider options for obtaining a healthier lifestyle. Niamh came to teach youth at Odyssey where, following her passing, a training program was re-named in her honour. The funds raised by the O’Briens’ efforts will help the Odyssey I team with their work to save countless youth.

With The Launch event being held on September 10, 2022, and a fundraising Journey Completion event on November 26, 2022, we expect over 150 people in person, and over 300 people online to participate in our charity events. Save the dates and details will follow! You may want to be one of the riders who joins Brendan, and cycles with him from Barnett Marine Park to The Launch event, travelling the distance wearing a specially designed T-shirt to advertise the cause!

Donations to the GoFundme page will be used, in part, to defray the cost of modest accommodation on the journey, as well as some expenses, with excess contributions benefitting the charity. Donations to the cause alone can be made directly at https://www.bgcbc.ca/donate/ (Please add a note that your gift is “in memory of Niamh O'Brien” so it will be applied towards Odyssey I programs).

Beyond donations online we are also seeking support by way of silent auction items, and prizes for the Journey Completion event. Please advise our donor contact Dawn Daughton through this site if you or someone you know can provide an item (or three!) in this regard.

With regular pictures and updates, you can follow our progress on Facebook - Niamh O'Brien


Many thanks in advance for your generous support!

The O’Brien Family

For further information regarding Odyssey I, please connect to the link - https://www.bgcbc.ca/counselling-support-services/substance-abuse-counselling-services/

Niamh’s Story
(written by her father)

Niamh O’Brien was only 22 when she passed away. It’s hard to write those words. It reminds me yet again that she’s permanently gone from our lives. She was to start university in the fall, wanting to become a dental hygienist. Her radiant smile, her dry wit, her raven hair, her future, our imagined future, lost.

Niamh died in April of 2021. She’d been sober for 4.5 years. Whatever possessed her to use again that night cost her everything. Her passing left devastation in its wake, as it has done for so many other families.

The mid-teens had been very difficult years for Niamh. For all of us. Coincident with her mother’s cancer, she had started down a path that would lead us to seek out the help we needed to combat the insanity of addiction. At the time there were a lot of treatment options available for a cancer patient, whereas a person with mental health and addiction issues, or those trying to care for them, were left to stitch together a patchwork quilt of ill-fitting services, hoping that none of the gaps were too big. They were.

Our greatest allies were the youth counsellors we met at Odyssey I, part of the Boys & Girls Club of Canada. THEY were our port in a storm. We were not alone. They became part of our family. Through Niamh’s recovery she came to teach youth at Odyssey how to use Narcan, the opioid overdose revival drug and the training program was re-named in her honour. Odyssey I (Boys & Girls Club), Narcan Training Program (in memory of Niamh O'Brien)

These vital programs require funding or else they’re just words on a page.
I have built a special memorial bike for the journey. The bike is emerald green. Niamh’s middle name, Tara, adorns the left fork and an Irish triskelion is pictured on the right. I may be cycling alone, but our girl will be with us as we travel down the road. We hope our journey will be healing and that our fund-raising efforts will save the lives of countless youth, in memory of Niamh Tara O’Brien.

Fundraising team (3)

Dawn Daughton
Raised $5,647 from 5 donations
Maple Ridge, BC
Colleen OBrien
Team member
Raised $10,268 from 41 donations
Kyle Smeding
Team member

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