Team Fortitude Particicpants

Lee Gardener


Team Position: Recruit

  • current £726.00
  • target £1,000.00
  • total donors 21

About Lee Gardener

I first came into contact with Rock2Recovery in 2016 when I identified that I was suffering from stress. Ten years previously I had performed back to back operational tours as a Royal Marines Commando, witnessing distressing scenes. Upon my return to the UK my wife was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. Less than 18 months later, at only 27 years old, she sadly passed away leaving me and my 3 year old daughter heartbroken. Unfortunately, an elite fighting force is no place for a single Dad (and bootneck body armour doesn’t fit a 3 year old!) and so in a short period of time, I not only lost my wife but also the security blanket provided by the corps (promotion, career and home). Friends and family helped as best they could and we kept going, one day at a time.

Fast forward 10 years, I had a happy, well-adjusted 13 year old and had met and married a very supportive lady called Sarah and yet I still felt I was struggling. After talking through my feelings with Sarah, we decided it was time I spoke to a professional. I contacted Rock2Recovery who immediately set up a meeting with one of their coaches, James. James travelled from London to Co. Durham once a week for about six months to coach me and provide me with the tools I needed in order to achieve and maintain a positive mind-set and be better able to function with the rigour of civilian life.

So now I would like to give something back ……..

I am supporting Rock2Recovery because they are a fantastic charity who provide help to Armed forces personal, the veteran community and their families who are affected by stress. They provide a free service to inspire, coach and motivate so that individuals can move towards a more positive future.

On Sunday 9 September I and my rugby buddy Dougie, with help from the members of our local Rugby Club, will begin a year-long accumulator running challenge to help raise much needed funds for the Rock2Recovery mission. The idea is that on week 1 we run 1 mile, week 5 we will run 5 miles etc. To avoid injury, we will be splitting the miles in the second half of the year so that we will end the challenge on week 52 by both running 26 miles. We aim to accumulate at least 1378 miles over the year.

The help I have received from Rock2Recovery has been invaluable. Mental health services are still underfunded and it is often up to charities to pick up the pieces. Rock2Recovery, like so many charities rely on the generous donations of the general public. Please dig deep and help me to support this amazing charity by sponsoring me and Dougie or by lacing up your trainers and being sponsored to run all or part of the distance with us.

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