A Message From Carlie Parker
There are numerous reasons as to why I run. Running for me is a way to cope with the battle that occurs within my mind. It's a way for me to stay mentally healthy and physically fit. It's a sense of challenge, a sense of accomplishment. Running for me is a part of the reason I am who I am today. I am running for Cameron Helps and Team Unbreakable because they captured and inspired me in their battle to fight against the stigma of mental illness one kilometre at a time.
I am passionate about the awareness of mental illness because I've lived with it for almost my entire life. I've grew up with depression and suicide a part of my reality due to intermediate family members struggling with it. I've lived my life feeling as if it surrounds me, watching family members, relatives, and friends deal with it. And even, at one point, I've struggled with it, too.
For a long time, I didn't believe I was worthy. I experienced an eating disorder - a diagnoses called anorexia nervosa, where you exert more energy than you consume. I didn't think I was competent. I didn't believe I was beautiful unless I looked a certain way (but I didn't even know what that would look like, so I was never satisfied). For me, fitness became more about the appearance than about challenging the capability.
Fortunately, I was able to overcome my eating disorder, bringing my weight from 90 pounds (age 15, 2015) to 120 pounds (age 16, 2016), and still maintaining today. My perspective on fitness and nutrition changed, as well as my distorted view on body image, but I had never truly, completely tackled the parts that felt unworthy, like they had no purpose...
And from that, in this past year (2016-2017), I was hit with another wall, another challenge. I experienced mild depression. I dealt with self-harm, suicidal thoughts, severe passive rage, and complete dissatisfaction of who I was and where I was in my life. And once again, thankfully, I was able to experience life changing events that are the reason I am still here today, more passionate and determined as ever!
I have found my purpose and who I am through running. Fitness is apart of the process I went through to finding that spark that ignites my passion and determination, and if I could help at least one person through their journey of self-discovery, I would be happy.
One thing I've learned is that, these challenges we face (regards specifically to mental illness), they are only chapters within our lives, not the entire book.
Help me support Cameron Helps and Team Unbreakable by financially supporting my father's, Darren Parker's, marathon and my 10km run at the Toronto Front Marathon!
raised of $250 goal
Kilometers ran, biked, kayaked completed
Location / Venue
- Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
- Toronto, ON
- Jun 18, 2017 12:00 am to
- Oct 22, 2017 12:00 am
About This Campaign
The goal of Cameron Helps is to reduce the stigma of youth mental illness, build awareness of the issues, and to promote the positive aspects of physical health on mental health.
My personal story has been impacted (either directly or indirectly) by mental illness, suicide, addictive behaviors since I was 17 years old. I have lost several members of our family to suicide:
Cousin (at the age of 18) in 1983
Brother (at the age of 20) in 1984
Father (at the age of 42) in 1986
I was suicidal (at the age of 18) after my brother had died and very fortunately was able to experience very positive and life changing events that have helped me to overcome all of these difficulties. I am now 51 and living life as passionately as I can! Despite...
My youngest son still deals with concurrent disorders (since the age of 17 - the past 9 years), addiction, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. He has made over 12 self-harm attempts in these past years, with numerous hospital stays, trips to emergency, psychiatric care etc...we marvel at times that he is still with us.
Ruth and I (and our family) have endured much...because we love much! We continue to stand together as a family, being as supportive as we can, having decided long ago that giving up is not an option. We understand the reality of living a life believing that we are "unbreakable". I thoroughly love this motto because of its importance, absolute possibility and undeniable necessity.
Mental health issues can be extremely debilitating - for everyone involved...but can be effectively managed, even prevented.
Help me support Cameron Helps and Team Unbreakable by financially supporting my "Courageous Hope" marathon!
David Courtney gave a $100 donation to support Carlie ParkerGood luck Carlie. Great cause to be running for. David Courtney
Emily Donato gave a $52.45 donation to support Carlie ParkerGreat cause Darren and glad to donate. All the best on your run!
Ruth Parker gave a $50 donation to support Carlie ParkerWe are cheering you on honey! We are so proud of you and love you very much!