Seven runners completed a 600-kilometre relay-style run down Vancouver Island for the 2019 Wounded Warriors Run BC. They were joined by supporters and local first responders for the final leg of the race. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run BC surpasses $100,000 fundraising goal

Event raises money for PTSD and mental health support programs for veterans, first responders

The Wounded Warrior Run BC (WWRBC) ended at the B.C. Legislature building Sunday evening and raised over $100,000 for programs supporting first responders, veterans and their families impacted by post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The run, started six years ago by Dan Bodden, a warrant officer in the Canadian air force, raises funds for Wounded Warriors programs such as BOS (Before Operational Stress) and COPE (Couples overcoming PTSD Everyday).

But Bodden said the run is also about keeping important conversations about mental health and PTSD alive.

“I was tired of reading the news about another veteran, another police officer harming themselves. I thought well, the system’s going to change eventually but why not help out with that change and lead by example?” he said. “I think the first step in any mental health issue, despite how much money you want to throw at it, is acknowledging it and getting it out from under the light.”

“The $100,000 we raised is terrific, and it certainly is a very nice metric, but I think that metric is reflective of how many people are able to talk about [PTSD] and how things are changing,” Bodden added.

RELATED: Wounded Warriors Run BC gets ready to hit the road

RELATED: Firefighters embrace reality of PTSD

The 600 kilometre run down Vancouver Island was completed by a team of seven veterans, first responders and supporters in under seven days. It started Feb. 25 in Port Hardy and culminated at the B.C. Legislature building Sunday evening.

Along the way, the team not only raised money, but spread messages of support and hope.

“We roll into each community and our team goes into Legions and community halls [where] we stand up and we talk about PTSD,” said WWRBC director Jacqueline Zweng. “We’re trying to normalize that conversation [and] for people to know there’s a source of hope, there are people here that are listening and we also have life changing programming.”

“If somebody has an injury that’s invisible, for some reason that’s harder to talk about and to address…we want people to know that it’s a huge sign of strength to come forward and talk about it instead of staying in silence.”

WWRBC was supported by the Saunders Family Foundation, Serious Coffee and Tilray. Langford mayor Stew Young also announced a $5,000 donation from the City of Langford and $5,000 from the West Shore Developers Association.

RELATED: Langford Fire Rescue partners with Wounded Warriors to focus on mental health



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The sixth-ever Wounded Warrior Run BC raised over $100,000 for programs first responders and veterans struggling with PTSD. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Runners and team members in the sixth Wounded Warrior Run BC congregate on the steps of B.C. Legislature after completing a relay-style 600-kilometre run down Vancouver Island. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

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