Why we ride ….. Not by the Numbers
Black Dog Riders who rode to the Red Centre in 2011 would have very fond memories of Sam, who rode thousands of kilometres to the red heart of Australia in a highly visible netball outfit in order to raise awareness of an invisible illness, depression.
Sam joined the road to the Red Centre again in 2013, although this time, his ride was cut short for the most tragic of reasons, reminding us all of the reason we ride.
In Sam's own words....
"1 in 5 Australians currently suffer from depression. 50% won't seek help. At least 6 Australians die from suicide each day - 5 of these will be men. 2,364 deaths from suicide were registered in 2010 (real number much higher because of how these are recorded). Nearly 50% of Australians will suffer from depression in their lifetime. 60,000 Australians attemp to take their own lives each year, the majority are women. 1 in 5 mothers with children aged under 2 are diagnosed with depression. 1,000,000 Australians are suffering from depression, now. Within 20 yrs depression will be 2nd only to heart desease as the leading medical cause of death. 10,000 young Australians live with depression in any year........... the numbers go on & on & on
ONE ! 1 …...is not a number
Upon my arrival in Broken Hill, Sunday August 18th, whilst on the Black Dog Ride, I found out that Cassie had taken her own life.
Cass had been one of my closest friends for over twenty seven years. We had laughed, danced, cried, supported, confided & even yelled at each other. We knew of dark places & tried to let the sun in for each other. Through so many changes in our lives we had remained true friends. In later years she became one of Vanessa's close friends. We continue to love her children Will and Alli - her greatest achievement & deepest love.
Cassandra loved much & was much loved.
We should have made time for one more dance.
My Black Dog Ride of 2013 is dedicated to the memory of Cassandra.
Cass was a supporter of mental health charities & in particular, the Black Dog Ride. At the completion of this years ride all Black Dog Riders paused for a moment to remember Cassie. Cassie could never be a number - neither is any other person.
That is why we ride.
Over & Out Cass
S & W
Upon reaching the Red Centre, as 300 Black Dog Riders stood in silent tribute to Cass, Steve Andrews read out the following, reminding us all of why we ride:
A moment in remembrance of Cassandra. A beautiful woman with a passion for all things, especially the welfare of others. A great supporter of Black Dog Ride. Cassandra loved wholeheartedly and was loved by all in return. She is our very special friend and will be missed.