After his mother took her own life seven years ago, Darren Judd was so haunted by the trauma of that day that he had to battle post-traumatic stress disorder.
Darren, of Game Lane, Great Cornard, says he now hopes to take the strength he has built up from this experience into completing the London Marathon, as the first runner to represent the Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (Sobs) at the event.
The support group helped Darren, after the trauma of finding his mother, Sheila, on December 21, 2010, and trying unsuccessfully to save her life with CPR.
“The things I saw that day, I wouldn’t want to put on anyone,” he told the Free Press.
“My story and the experience of others is the lack of resources to support you. I experienced this terrible tragedy and there was no real support mechanism afterwards.
“I was pointed in the direction of the Sobs group in Bury St Edmunds. The volunteers there are all survivors themselves.
“Having those people there who understand what you have gone through and discussing the experience is so important.”
Darren, who works as a productivity co-ordinator at Siemens, has since helped Sobs to set up more support groups around Suffolk, stating he is particularly keen to get across to men to be open and honest, and not to bottle up their emotions after a trauma like this.
He explained he also wanted to use his own experience to support others who have been bereaved by suicide more recently.
Darren’s attempt at the 26.2-mile course on April 22 will be his third time running in the London Marathon and his fifth marathon overall.
He is now in the midst of a 17-week training programme and has already received more than £2,000 in donations, including some contributions from people he has never met.
“It’s been overwhelming,” he said. “It’s the motivation for me to finish the course.”
“It’s a great honour for me to be running for this group. Personally, it’s something I really want to highlight.
“There is a high focus on mental health at the moment, but suicide is still a taboo subject, so it’s good to highlight the issues.
“It’s not really time-based for me. It’s just about getting myself around the marathon and raising awareness.”
Anybody interested in donating can do so by going to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/SheilaJudd.