A Richmond resident has kicked off a fundraiser to raise awareness and funds for mental health disorders in memory of his late father.
Jordan Nijjer is in training right now to run 50 kilometres before June 1, with the hope of motivating others to exercise, set and achieve personal goals and raise money for Vancouver General Hospital’s mood disorders program.
Nijjer, a pharmacist at Steveston Medicine Shoppe, was inspired to mobilize his friends and family after realizing himself, during the pandemic, the kick he was getting mentally and physically out of regular exercise.
And with the loss of his father, Marc, a year ago due to mental illness, Nijjer decided to make his exercising routine official, by setting up a Facebook page and a group on a running app called Strava, which tracks activity and goals.
“I’ve always been interested in an ultra-marathon and I wanted to challenge myself. But when I started getting out there, I wondered if I could maybe inspire some people and start a challenge where people could challenge themselves to do something that’s manageable for them,” Nijjer, 31, told the Richmond News.
“I’ve done a lot of research recently about the benefits from exercise on your mood and confidence. And this past year has affected us all. We’ve all kind of felt the lows this last while.”
Nijjer was also reminded, while volunteering with the Chimo crisis line, how difficult life can get for some people, which evoked memories of losing his father at the age of just 54.
“Our family grew up with the push on and get over mentality. I was his support person but I wasn’t fully aware of all the help that was out there at the time,” explained Nijjer.
“When setting this (fundraiser) up, that was a big thing for me, to show people where these resources are, especially when you’re feeling alone.”
For more information and where to donate, go online to: