On October 23rd, 2022, Jaala Van Dongen will again be recognizing the importance of mental health awareness, by running a significant distance.
From Jaala: “On October 9, 2021 (which incidentally is the day before World Mental Health Day) my older brother Jonathan took his own life. He tragically and quietly had been suffering with depression for a very, very long time and he took great pains and went to great lengths to keep the depths of his suffering a secret from his family and friends. The last year of his life must have been an incredibly overwhelming time as he battled his demons and eventually grew too tired to fight any longer.”
Jaala will be running 4.3 miles every hour, for 24 hours straight on Sunday, October 23, 2022, which would have been her brother Jonathan Ross’s birthday. The starting point will be the Eden East Mental Wellness Centre on Stonebridge Crossing in Steinbach, where she will also return to on her loop to take short rests and fuel up.
“My purpose in my run is to raise awareness of this horrible and secret disease that so many people feel they cannot share with anyone. I chose to link up with Eden as they are a local faith based organization, that provides many critical services directly related to mental health. Please help in anyway you feel led to, whether you; make a donation to help Eden Foundation, or support me on my run by either running or biking with me, or just keeping me in your thoughts and prayers as I make this journey.”
As reference, a Marathon Run is just a little over 26 miles (44 km), so this is a significant undertaking by Jaala, running 4.3 miles for a total of just over 103 miles or 166 km. Our moral support, our presence with her on the run, our encouragement will all be ways in which we can share her burden and her memory of her dear brother.
If you choose to make a financial contribution to the work that Eden Health Care Services is doing in Steinbach and beyond, you can do that by filling out the form below. You will receive a tax-deductible receipt for your donation and your support will be used to bring hope, healing and community to people on a mental health journey.