When Nick McKendrick was 11 years old his father hanged himself at home following a series of personal setbacks.
Nick’s family was reluctant to even talk about what happened – and to this day he doesn’t know if his dad left a note.
And now – almost two decades after the tragedy – he will run his first Edinburgh Marathon this Sunday in memory of his father to open up a discussion about the taboo.
He will be raising up to £1000 to be split between leading childhood bereavement charity Winston’s Wish and Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide.
Speaking on the 17th anniversary of his father’s death, the 28-year-old from Gorebridge, said: “My hope is that by generating a greater awareness of these charities and their fantastic work, and by sharing my own story, we will become more open to discussion about suicide and with survivors of suicide, which is still seen largely as a taboo subject.
“I’m supporting Winston’s Wish because I believe that every child, young person, and family should have the opportunity to grieve, come to terms with, and begin to rebuild their lives after the loss of an important person.”
Elizabeth Tomala, community fundraiser for Winston’s, said she was “delighted” Nick had chosen to fundraise for Winston’s Wish and Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide.
She added: “Support from dedicated fundraisers like Nick allow us to continue our support for the children who need us.”
Winston’s Wish was the first charity to establish child bereavement support services in the UK.
To support Nick and donate to Winston’s Wish visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NickMcKendrick