My dear friend Emma is doing her SECOND iron man for a GREAT cause, please see below what Emma has to say.

“I’m not ashamed of my scars,

I’m ashamed of the world for not understanding…”

If I asked you what the third biggest global disease was, you would probably guess cancer, heart disease, malaria or maybe even cholera. You would be wrong. The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2030 depression, currently in third place, will be the biggest disease in the world.

Yet it is rarely spoken about. Depression isn’t “sexy” or “tragic” enough to attract billions worth of funding. Its effects can’t necessarily be measured as accurately as many other ills, but research shows that the exponential growth in mental disorders is having a profound effect on economies worldwide. Mental disorders are just as biological as cancer and HIV/Aids, and it can be just as destructive. In some cases even leading to the death of the sufferer, which brings me to the reason I am writing this email.

I guarantee that every single one of you knows at least one person who has suffered the consequences of having to grapple with the reality of depression, anxiety or related struggles. Did you know that it can be treated successfully? Did you know that you, your loved one or acquaintances can be helped and freed from the grip of depression and anxiety?

Most of you are aware of my own personal struggle to overcome depression. But you also know that despite me almost giving up hope, I made it through my darkest night and can testify today that I am free, healed and stronger than before.

It is for this reason that I am dedicating my second Ironman event to Ithemba – a non-governmental organisation committed to funding depression research, raising awareness and providing support to those who have lost a loved one to depression. I know one of the founding members personally – she is a mentor and a dear friend of mine – and I can guarantee you that every cent will go towards raising hope, awareness and a brighter future for those of us whose lives have been and/or still are affected by mental disorder.

Ironman is an ultra triathlon distance event – it consists of 3.8 km of swimming, 180 km of cycling and 42.2 km of running (to be completed within 17 hours). I will be tackling the South African version of the Ironman in Port Elizabeth on Sunday the 6th of April. This is where you come in. I am hoping to raise at least 1000 ZAR for every kilometer I plan to cover on the day.

Why not forego your lunchtime coffee this week and donate 50 ZAR to Ithemba instead? I promise you you’ll feel amazing for dedicating to a good and worthy cause!

I’ve set up a profile on givengain which makes it SUPER easy and VERY simple to part with some of your hard earned bucks – whether you’re in SA, Canada or Australia (you poor thing…) you can donate via credit card safely and securely by following this link to my givengain profile and simply clicking on the BIG RED DONATE BUTTON (you know you want to):

http://www.givengain.com/activist/116337/projects/8070/

For those of you who wish to take the longer more conventional route, you can donate via EFT:

Ithemba Foundation NPC

ABSA

9281130756

Stellenbosch Branch

REFERENCE – Ironman (please send me proof of payment as well so I can keep track 🙂

Open those hearts and wallets and send some love this way! AND DON’T BE SHY TO SHARE THIS EMAIL WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY ETC.

And, don’t be afraid of calling the “d-word” by name! By talking about it, we break the stigma surrounding it. And by breaking the stigma surrounding it, we set free those who are too afraid to seek help.

Support Emma – Depression Awareness