• Karen Bourne


Today is the anniversary of my brother passing. It is a day that allows me some quiet reflection and a renewed appreciation of life and all things living. It is a day that makes me, regardless of what else may be happening, fully focus on what really matters.

Life is busy for most of us and we can be so busy making sure that everything is happening that we can sometimes forget to stop and ask why it is happening, or even if it needs to happen. We fill each and every moment with stuff, the busier the better. Yet in the quiet moments of reflection, when we permit ourselves some time and space to think, we can get a new sense of perspective and a new sense of being.

I started The 29 Challenge to do something positive in my brother’s memory and, in turn, help raise vital funds for Mind – The Mental Health Charity. At any point, when someone has a mental health challenge or crisis, there should always be someone available to talk to without embarrassment, stigma or shame. There should always be somewhere to turn in those moments or periods when help is required.

The 29 Challenge hasn’t been easy, but at every single point along the way it has always been worth it. And what it has given me in the process is incredible. A motivation to get out and run regardless of how I may be feeling, people sharing their story with me in confidence and an opportunity to speak to people about the experience I had when my brother passed and give some comfort and hope to others.

Running gives me a sense of space to think, process what’s happening in the day-to-day and clear my head. It gets me outside in the fresh air and keeps me fit, and active. It always makes me feel better.

I also set myself a big fundraising challenge along the way and here’s where you may be able to help. Sharing the story of The 29 Challenge with your friends, family and network could really help spread the word and the message. And all donations made are gratefully received as I work continuously to raise funds each and every day.

It is a big challenge in so many ways but I always know why I am doing it all and I always believe that anything and everything is possible.

As ever, thank you for the continued support, encouragement and helping me to spread the word of The 29 Challenge.

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