Raising funds for mental health

Duncan Kilba Road Crew aims for $2,000

Duncan and Karen Kilba at his high school graduation. Photo supplied.

“I really wanted to be an example for people. That putting myself through an 88 kilometre ride is nothing compared to families who have had loved ones who they’ve lost. Nothing that I can withstand during the ride could be as painful as losing a family (member) or friend,” said Leah Assue, Duncan Kilba Road Crew member.  

Preparing to bike the long stretch of road from Centennial Park in Kamloops, B.C. to the McLure Ferry and back, Assu, along with three other team members, will participate in the Ride Don’t Hide event on June 24 in support of ending the stigma around mental health.

“It doesn’t matter who you are. We are all affected by our mental health whether it’s directly or indirectly we are all affected by it. We’re just trying to help bring awareness and help support those people who are going through tough times,” said Assu.

The Duncan Kilba Road Crew was formed in 2017 in tribute to Duncan Kilba, a Kamloops Secondary Student and Whitecroft resident, who died by suicide in March of that year. Assu, who had heard about the Ride Don’t Hide event through work, wanted to dedicate her ride to Kilba and show support for her stepson Cody who was a friend of his.

“When this happened with him I saw what happened to Cody and how it just destroyed him and his friends, just devastated them,” she said. “I thought there’s got to be something that can be done to help. It’s never going to take the mental health illnesses away but at least it can help support and get the word out there.”

The annual Ride Don’t Hide event is the largest mental health bike ride in Canada.  Money raised goes towards mental health services in each community that participates.

“The money in our community that’s raised stays in our community, so it will help our people in our own community access services and programs to help make mentally healthy people and I don’t think a lot of people know that,” said Assu.

This year the Crew’s fundraising goal is $2,000. Donations are being accepted online at http://ridedonthide.com or through the team’s Facebook page Ride Don’t Hide – Duncan Kilba Road Crew.