R U Ok? Day

I just watched an episode of Australian Story on Gavin Larkin.

Gavin was a man on a mission. Having his father take his life, showed Gavin that sometimes life can get you down. As he edged toward 30, he too could see the tell tale signs of depression, but didn't accept it. Leaving his wife to fear that his neglect of the issue would lead to the same outcome as his father.

Luckily for Gavin, he was introduced to a self awareness course that he took on well. It made him see things differently and allowed him to turn his life around. He righted wrongs. He made the time away from his high exec position.

In 2009, Gavin made the leap to use his knowledge and contacts to help get R U OK? day off the ground. His passion for the cause is obvious, with his dedication and time being consumed by the project, he neglects the pain his body is putting him through.

His doctor makes him have a full body scan, finding he is suffering from bone cancer, in its fourth stage. As he battles his own war, he still puts in 100% with R U OK? day, answering calls and directing staff from his bed.

After treatment was completed, he was released the day before the very first R U OK? day in 2009. He was amongst it all, decked out in yellow ad raising awareness like a trooper. This really meant something to him. That year, the awareness raised for suicide prevention and depression went beyond anything any other organisation could do.

After that the Larkin family took a hard turn. They found that Gavin hadn't responded to treatment and their eldest son who was having difficulty with his eyesight, was actually affected by a brain tumour. Dr Teo worked his magic, as he has done with so many, and after a long and bumpy road he was in remission.

Gavin's treatment continued as did his part in the R U OK? day project. Even through all the hard times he was still able to be positive and keep his focus. It is an amazing feat for one man, but the I've and support from his family and those around him is astonishing.

Sadly in September 2011 Gavin lost his battle with the unrelenting cancer. He paved the way for the future of this project, ensuring that it would continue for years to come.

So today, make the time to ask some R U OK? It might just save their life. Everyday you can make a change, smile at someone. Apologise for bumping them. Say hello. It's simple tasks like these that might just are someone's day.

If you or someone you know suffers from depression, try to help, or just be there for them when they need you. Depression isn't a choice, it isn't even switched on and off. Sometimes people are just good pretenders.

Please contact Beyond Blue or SANE if you require assistance.

Thanks ... MCM xxx


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