A grieving father will take part in this weekend’s Great South Run as a remembrance to his daughter who committed suicide earlier this year.
Lizzie Fisher battled with clinical depression for more than two decades but regularly ran with her dad Bill to help with her disorder.
Last year, she completed the 10-mile Great South Run in Southsea to raise money for mental health charity Mind.
But tragedy struck the Fisher family in June of this year when Lizzie took her own life at the age of 33.
Now Bill is entering Sunday’s Great South Run along with 16 others as a tribute to his daughter, and to match her feats by helping to raise awareness of mental health.
‘It will be very emotional, said Bill, from Waltham Chase.
‘We have lovely photos of Lizzie doing the Great South Run last year.
‘She was on quite a high about doing it and really keen to help Mind. What happened goes to show how complex mental health is.
‘It’s very difficult. We thought we got through the worst of it and that we were making progress.
‘She had loads of friends but the depression was an ongoing thing from the age of about 12.
‘Lots and lots of people tried to help.
‘It’s not easy to overcome, though. When there’s a definite reason behind depression, like an accident or bereavement, it is treatable. When it’s clinical, there’s an imbalance in the body.
‘Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people learn to cope with it. But others succumb to depression.’
See stories, pictures and video from the Great South Run at portsmouth.co.uk on Sunday.
Full coverage in The News on Monday
Bill, 63, added: ‘We are now trying to raise as much as we can for Mind because mental health can be tough for many people.
‘We’ve probably all fallen into the trap of saying “pull yourself together” but the general public don’t understand, especially the very young.
‘It’s why I’ll be part of Team Lizzie, along with 16 others, to do what Lizzie did last year and complete the Great South Run.’
Dealing with Lizzie’s death has been heartbreaking for Bill and his wife Trisha, but they have many happy memories of their ‘intelligent and friendly’ daughter, with running amongst them.
‘Exercise certainly helped her,’ said Bill. ‘Doing that is one of the things to combat the illness as it gives you a feelgood factor that you’ve achieved something.
‘Running doesn’t just get your body fit but your mind, too and it certainly benefited Lizzie.
‘We did a lot of training together and she would be so chatty. She talked, talked, talked during our running and I’d often come back with my ears burning!
‘A week after she did the Great South Run, I completed the New York Marathon. Running was our thing together.
‘Now we can remember her by doing the Great South Run which is a lovely event. It’s got a different feel to it to normal runs.
‘I hope we can make it an annual thing as a remembrance to Lizze and play our part in raising money for charity.’
Donate money to Team Lizzie by logging on to justgiving.com/teams/teamlizzie