Toronto chiropractor rides for youth mental health
By By Jessica Beaulieu
By By Jessica Beaulieu
May 8th, 2014 – Jack Windeler was a student at Queen’s University when he took his own life four years ago.
His parents, Eric Windeler and Sandra Hanington, immediately began dedicating their time and efforts to spreading light on the dark topic of youth depression and suicide and to promote mental health and wellness in young people.
Dr. Chris Oswald, who has owned a chiropractic practice in Toronto for 25 years, came to know about The Jack Project and the subsequent Jack Ride three years ago when Eric Windeler walked into his practice and became both a patient and a friend.
“I was really taken back by Eric’s desire and really his drive to get out there and build a foundation that they both work at full-time to educate students all over the country about mental illness and avenues with which kids can facilitate a reduction in anxiety, depression, frustration and loneliness,” Oswald said.
He has been contributing financially to the charity’s efforts ever since – and this year, will be taking part in the fundraising event himself.
The Jack Ride is a cycling event that will take place at the Caledon Ski Club, May 24th. The Ride will include 550 participants who can choose between a 50, 100 or 120 km course.
The Ride, like all other ventures done by The Jack Project, aims to raise funds and awareness for youth mental health and wellness to offer kids hope and guidance and educate parents and friends on how to deal with those around them who may be suffering.
Oswald recognizes that mental and physical wellness goes hand-in-hand and has been shocked to see the numbers of young patients with mental health issues.
“The number of kids that I’ve seen that have required it in my practice has definitely been more substantial than I’d thought,” he said, and being a father of four, it’s an issue that he’s more than willing to get behind and support.
Oswald was originally involved from a donation standpoint, he kept a financial commitment to the cause as well as donating products from his MuscleCare line of pain treatment products, which are included in gift bags for event participants. But this year Oswald and his MuscleCare team of riders, consisting of four members, including two chiropractors, are collecting pledges and lacing up for the ride.
Oswald is also bringing team members from his Yonge and St. Clair practice, including three registered massage therapists and two chiropractors, to work on riders before and after the event.
MuscleCare additionally donates five per cent of all sales revenue to The Jack Project year round.
The event is a significant one for the Toronto native as he says it really pulls members of the community together.
“What I found most interesting, was that the more I got involved the more I found out that more and more of my patients were actually on the fundraising committee for The Jack Project or were riders in the event,” he said. “So it feels like a sort of nice, tight-knit family, and everybody is there to help.”
This year’s fundraising goal for The Jack Project is $125,000.
To learn more about The Jack Project and The Jack Ride, to get involved or to donate visit http://thejackproject.org/.