My name is Stephanie Thompson and I run to raise awareness for mental health.
My friend Sam Chefero and I are from Aurora, ON. Together we recently conquered the Oakville Half Marathon with an added challenge: I was running blindfolded tethered to my running guide, Sam. I was running in the complete dark for the entire 21K race. For me, this blindfolded experience symbolized what it can feel like struggling with mental health; alone, consumed by your thoughts and surrounded by darkness.
My mental health journey began after being sexually assaulted by a man posing as an Uber driver. By sharing my personal story of trauma and triumph, I want to show others they are not alone and help them on their own mental health journey. You can read more about my story and mission here: www.lightupthedark.ca
Proceeds raised for Light Up The Dark are donated to the Saint John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program. I had a therapy dog sit with me through my court process on the scariest days of my life. I am extremely grateful for this program and I know these animals help so many people.
Fitness and running have played a huge role in my healing process. We trained all summer and completed two 10K Running Room races to prepare for the half marathon. It has been quite a challenging journey, however, I hope to continue to raise awareness for mental health and help others Light Up The Dark.
As difficult as it was for me to share my trauma, I know if my story impacts just one person, then sharing is worth it to me.