MOST family reunions involve lots of food and flicking through photo albums.
Instead, when Dallas Bell catches up with her family and friends this weekend it will be during a 21 kilometre run in Townsville.
The Rockhampton mum and two of her friends, Michelle Hixon and Susan Gadd, planned to take part in the Townsville Running Festival in memory of Dallas' late mother Debbie Harling and aunt Katrina Searle.
Family and friends showed their support not only in their encouragement, but by many deciding to join them at the Festival.
The event has a 2.5k walk, 5, 10 and 21 kilometre run, so now Dallas is expecting around 80 to 90 of her loved ones from all over Australia to join her this Sunday in various distances at the annual event
"It is a good feeling," Dallas said. Dallas's daughter Tyler, age 8, is looking forward to the 2.5k walk she is doing with her great grandmother and some of her cousins.
"It is nice to have a family thing that is a good get-together instead of something sad."
But it the sadness of their recent losses that inspired their participation in the event, but is also why they are raising funds, with half the money they raise going to the Townsville Rehabilitation Centre and the other half going to the Black Dog Institute, involved with diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.
It's a personal cause for Dallas, as her aunt, who died in March this year, had bipolar.
"I encourage people to seek help.
"It is something a lot of people go through and the first step to getting better is getting help."
After the event the group will hold a sausage sizzle, pass a hat around to raise a few extra dollars and then release some helium balloons with personal messages, before going on to further celebrate.
Dallas asks anyone wanting to donate money, to donate to the Black Dog Institute.
- Bipolar disorder is a medical condition affecting the functioning of the brain.
- It causes extreme moods from over-excited to depressed.
- Up to two in a hundred people will develop bipolar disorder at some time in their lives.
- The causes of bipolar disorder are not fully understood, but it is likely to be a combination of hereditary and other causes.
- The symptoms of bipolar disorder generally react well to medication.
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