Paddy Miller and Joan Skillings are riding their bikes across
Canada (in stages) in memory of Paddys son Mike who died
in August 2000 after a long and very private battle with bipolar
Michael was a sensitive, intelligent fellow with a very wry sense
of humour. He was well thought of by his friends and workmates and had
many successes in his life. However in the last months of his life his
illness robbed him of his self esteem and mired him in a despair so deep
that suicide was the tragic outcome.
The bike journey is a healing one, an attempt to come to grips
with our grief and raise awareness of the struggles facing individuals
with mental illness. As we ride across the country we find our
own awareness has been raised. So many people have contacted
us: friends, relatives, acquaintances and collegues; all have
been touched somehow by mental illness. Hopefully as people
begin to talk more, services for the mentally ill will improve.
Our objective is to raise funds for direct services for psychiatric
patients and their families in the Greater Victoria area.
Our ride began in Victoria in September 2002. Since then we
have cycled for two weeks every September from Victoria to Halifax.
In September 2008 we will complete our journey by biking from
Corner Brook to St. John's Newfoundland. It has been a treat
to see Canada and to meet all those real Canadians.
Please support psychiatric services and send a donation
in memory of Michael Miller to:
BC Schizophrenia Society (Victoria Branch)
941 Kings Road
Victoria, B.C. V8T 1W7
or go to www.bcssvictoria.ca
and click on "Donate Now"