Volunteer Travels Two Hours to Help Mentally Ill Man Train for Marathon

Volunteer Travels Two Hours to Help Mentally Ill Man Train for Marathon

Twenty-two-year-old Ryan Harris from Barry is a trainee in healthcare management who is currently training for the Cardiff Half Marathon along with 49-year-old Alwyn Humphry, according to an article on Wales Online.

Alwyn is schizophrenic. Ryan has been traveling two hours a day to meet with him to help him train for the Cardiff Half Marathon. Their story has now gone viral, which makes Ryan happy. The pair are running the marathon to raise awareness for mental health and to raise £1,000 to donate to Mind, a mental health charity that supports those in crisis.

Ryan and Alwyn met when Ryan began his training at the Abertillery Cwm Celyn Nursing Home. He felt a connection with Alwyn because he reminded him of his grandfather, who passed away after suffering from dementia. He invited Alwyn to do the marathon with him, which takes place in October. What inspired Ryan to ask Alwyn to join was his knowledge that exercise can help to reduce levels of depression and anxiety. It is almost like an antidepressant.

Ryan said that he has been inspired by both his grandfather and Alwyn to get to where he is today. His grandfather’s condition led him to find Mind and to better understand what negative preconceptions there were around mental health conditions. Mind also taught him that respect is key when dealing with a person with a mental illness. He said that working with Alwyn has also helped give him a sense of purpose. Training with Alwyn, Ryan feels has helped him grow up and want to achieve more. He said that he is looking forward to crossing the finish line together with Alwyn in October.


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