Chris Willmott’s illness has taken its toll on his personal life but regular therapy has pulled him out of his darkest hour.
He has now set himself a personal challenge to help him regain control of his life and raise money for Make Some Noise, a national charity that helps disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.
He wants to return to the running he loved but stopped due to his depression.
Chris owns C & W Seals, a seal and gasket manufacture specialist based in Ivy Arch Road, and ten per cent of the company’s profits go to several charities every year, to help unprivileged families and disadvantaged children.
He explained: “These charities help families deal with bereavement, terminal illness, prevention of gang crimes and much, much more. The money that I raise helps give a new lease of life to those that have suffered some very dark days.
“Sadly we all have our own demons and half the time, a lot of us suffer in silence. I unfortunately have suffered with depression most of my adult life, which has worsened over the last five years.
“This took a toll on my personal life and sadly I lost all interest in running as work became my main focus. The road I took meant I pushed people away that loved me the most and in turn, they suffered too.”
The challenge is a seven-day trek around the Grand Canyon at the end of March and Chris has set a £4,000 fundraising target.
“I still have a way to go but with the support that is being provided and the love that I share with my three beautiful girls, I hope to find balance and contentment,” he said.
“With the help of this challenge, I can learn to love the outside again and regain control of my life once more.”
Chris first found a love for the road about eight years ago and became an athletics coach to share his passion for running with others.
He ran the Brighton Marathon in 2012 and raised more than £500 for Winston’s Wish, the charity for bereaved children.
Although he lost interest in running through his depression, Chris found help through Time to Talk and regular therapy has helped him understand his feelings better.
Visit www.justgiving.com/WillmottGrandCanyon to make a donation.
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