VERY few people could know more about depression in their teen years than Rockhampton man Des Ryan.
And fewer could have suffered more.
At the tender age of 14 Des was accidentally shot in the neck while playing with an old rifle with his brothers Shaun and Martin.
After surgery and 15 months in Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital, Des was allowed to leave in a wheelchair, paralysed from the neck down.
But on June 12 he will participate in the Stanwell Power Station Rocky River Run to raise money to help prevent youth suicide.
“For quite a few years I think I was affected by it, it took a long time for me to get involved in things.
“But it’s different now. Nowadays there is a lot more support available,” Des said.
Des is hoping to gather 350 from the Abilities and Action group for the 2km run.
“Youth suicide is a bit of a quiet thing that people don’t often talk about, but it is preventable,” he said.
Terry Loague, from the Rotary Club of Rockhampton, and chairman of the run’s organising committee, is excited his mate will be involved.
“We want to include all facets of the community,” Terry said.
“There will also be markets, and all funds will be going towards preventing youth suicide.”
Terry and Des are hoping to get at least 1000 participants this year and raise $40,000.
The 2011 run will start at Huish Drive and participants can choose from a 2km or 5km wheel/walk, professionally timed events including a 5km run that incorporates a team challenge, a 10km run, or for the more serious, trained-up runners, a 21km half-marathon which will be run in conjunction with Rocky Road Runners.
To help people train for the event they want to compete in, The Morning Bulletin will run a series of programs in the lead-up.
The more serious competitors can find full training programs for 10km and half-marathon at www.rockyriverrun.com.au.
“I’ll be getting up on the day and thinking this is another crazy thing I’ve got myself into,” Des laughed.
“I’d just like to encourage all our members to come and it’s free entry if they come through us.”