How A Boy Decided To Raise Awareness For The Royal Victoria Hospital
Hi, I’m Shelley.
Four years ago, my then 12 year old son Zach decided to run, walk and bike from Barrie to Ottawa to raise funds and awareness for the new Simcoe Muskoka Child and Youth Mental Health program at RVH. He called his journey Zach Makes Tracks. His story inspired our community and he rallied to raise over $150,000 to go directly towards helping youth struggling with their mental health. Since the unit opened in 2017, hundreds of youth have received the care they needed closer to home and their families.
Zach stepped far out of his comfort zone and spent 8 months before his journey visiting schools and events and spoke about making youth mental health a priority. He inspired many kids to start their own fundraisers and he inspired me to share my own story. He was quoted once as saying ‘maybe if help had been there when my mom was young, things could have been better for her’.
I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder in my early twenties, but the symptoms were there when I was very young. I had a fortunate life and a very loving family, so it didn’t appear to make sense that I struggled with my mental health. For the last 25 years, I’ve been on a journey trying new medications, ECT and brain stimulation treatments to figure out how to support my brain to function properly. I couldn’t have done this without the care and expertise of specialists in the field of mental health. This illness has impacted my life drastically, yet I feel fortunate to be able to share my journey to give others hope that a solution is out there for them. That they can feel joy again. That they deserve to. And it was all inspired by my little boy who saw me and others struggling – and wanted to make a difference.
Where is Zach now? Well he’s a little older, a little taller and a little wiser. He still doesn’t like to be in front of the camera and is pursuing a career as a gym teacher. He’s also driving, and is thinking he’d look pretty good in a brand new BMW.
So we’ve bought our tickets and are hoping to win the Grand Prize 2021 430i BMW xdrive coupe – valued at $60,511!
Visit winacar.kempenfeltrotary.ca to purchase your tickets. Each ticket is $25 or buy 5 for $100. Get them early for a chance at the early bird prizes. Only 10,000 tickets are being sold so help us, and the amazing people at the Kempenfelt Rotary Club support RVH, Gilda’s Club and the Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie. Where will you drive if you win?