Why Ride for Jase?
Jase was my brother. He was also a son, an uncle, a friend. He was loved by so many. And yet, as is often the case with those who struggle with depression, he was adept at hiding the extent of his illness from so many people who loved him.
Sadly, on the 17th of November 2015, Jason lost his battle against this illness.
In the months leading up to his passing, Jason spoke often about wanting to travel around Australia. A dream and adventure that I thought would be amazing to share together one day. Something to look forward to.
It was my sister Emma who made me realise that this journey was still possible. But instead of this journey being just Jase and I, there would be all his family and friends along for the ride.
All the people who knew him, but who didn't get the chance to help him through his difficult times and didn't know what he suffered. A way for them to contribute to a dream of his and help others who are struggling.
And all the people who didn't know him, but who would join us in this venture anyway in whatever way they can, because of a similar loss or a similar struggle.
From June 2017 to February 2017, I cycled 20,000km, taking Jason's ashes with me on the journey he couldn't make. I took him to the most eastern, northern, western and southern points of Australia as well as the centre of the country. I felt him with me every step of the way. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to show Jase in spirit the beauty and magnificence that he was unable to experience in life.
I am proud to have completed this ride in Jase's name, but this ride is so much bigger than just Jase and I. It belongs to so many. A journey to encompass life, embrace grief, and to show that you can achieve beyond your wildest dreams, so long as you still dream.
A realisation that you are never alone!