Read how Sarah & Jason’s personal story motivated them to join, and go on to raise, the most money at our 5KOK challenge

Let us introduce you to Sarah and Jason. This local superstar mum & son duo have won the title of raising the most money at our recent 5KOK challenge. Their initial goal was to bike ride 50km’s over the month of October and raise $100, however they smashed that within the first week and went on to raise an impressive $900.

Bike riding together has always been precious bonding time, and both use it to de-stress and clear their minds. As you know, the 5KOK challenge was to raise funds to support mental health services in Wyndham. Jason and Sarah have a personal reason that motivated them to join the challenge, and we want to share their inspirational story with you.

Jason is a 12 year old autistic child who loves bike riding, footy, WWE, and playing guitar with a penchant for classical music. He also has political aspirations to make the world a better place, and wants to see greater equality for women, and inclusion for people of all abilities. His mum, Sarah, has 3 young children, all of whom have special needs. Sarah says each child has a differing set of needs, but proudly describes them all as being special and amazing in their own right.

Sarah has suffered from mental health issues since she was a young child, and was drawn to the 5KOK challenge as a means of giving back to show gratitude for the mental health services she has received. Sadly, Sarah’s mental health took a turn for the worse not too long ago, and a bad day got progressively worse, ultimately escalating to her attempting to take her own life.

Fortunately, she was able to be revived by paramedics and found herself in ICU in an induced coma. The rest of Sarah’s story should be about her successful recovery and solid support network, but instead it takes a dark turn with people judging her harshly for what she tried to do to herself. Sarah has described the aftermath of what she suffered as being worse than the events that led to the attempt on her life. She felt bullied and ostracized, and had to put her children in a different school to protect them.

Over time she has rebuilt her strength with the loving support from her partner and family. Sarah wants people to know that empathy and compassion is vital, and one can never know what struggles someone is experiencing. Critical judgement only compounds a person’s pain, and can have detrimental consequences.

We are grateful to Sarah for sharing her personal story, and we hope in doing so, this may have helped someone else. If you, or someone you love, needs to speak to someone for support, the number for Lifeline Australia is 13 11 14.

Mental health services in our community have seen an increase in demand and the Werribee Hospital Foundation continues its dedication to support these, and other health services, for the Wyndham community. If you would like to find out more about how you can help or donate, please email hello@whf.org.au or visit https://bit.ly/3ywkvu1

Leanne Down

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