Owen even got some of the Victoria HarbourCats to participate in the Pushing For Awareness campaign. (Submitted by Lindsay Gee)

Langford family committed to 50 push-ups for 50 days, pushes harder in final days of fundraiser

Campaign supports awareness of childhood mental illness

With only six more days to go a Langford family is pushing their cause a little harder — literally — in hopes of reaching a goal they set 44 days ago.

Lindsay Gee and her 10-year-old son, Owen, committed to do 50 push-ups for 50 days to raise awareness for childhood mental illness. Now, with the deadline looming they’ve come close but still need a bit more support. The Pushing For Awareness Campaign has raised just over $3,700 with the goal of $5,000 in sight.

“The cool thing about Owen is he has said he will continue to do push-ups everyday until we get to $5,000 and I love him so much but I don’t want to do them anymore,” says Gee with a laugh.

When Owen was in was in Grade 2 he started having panic attacks. Over the next few years the panic attacks got worse, eventually turning into a weekly occurrence and then multiple times a week lasting two to three hours every time.

When Owen finally got the chance to see a psychiatrist he was diagnosed him with panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety and depression.

RELATED: Langford mom commits to 50 push-ups for 50 days in support of childhood mental health

Gee says what’s been surprising is some of the criticism she’s gotten since the campaign began.

“There’s comments and I get some emails wondering if I’m doing this for the right reasons, if I’m doing this to get attention or am I doing this to promote my business which is not at all what I’m doing,” says Gee. “It’s really just my son who wanted to do this.”

Gee says throughout the campaign she’s learned a ton of vital information that can be scary which makes it hard to talk about.

View this post on Instagram

Pictured here: the most incredible kid in all the land sliding into home. Safe! If he can overcome a panic attack at bat and get up and play again…I can do 50 pushups a day for 50 days. Have you donated to our #PushingForAwareness campaign yet? We are trying to raise money for irganizations my son believes in and help raise awareness for childhood mental illness. We know pushups won't do a damn thing…but we do know people are talking and to us…that's a win! Please check out my son's campaign using the linktree in my profile. Click #PushingForAwareness and read all about what we are doing to raise funds for organizations like @buddycheckforjesse, @headandheartsk and @stigma_free_society. Thank you!

A post shared by Lindsay Gee (@lindsayl_gee) on

Recalling a moment, a few weeks ago, when she was talking about the campaign and raising awareness for childhood mental health, Owen interjected to correct her.

“He said ‘we’re raising awareness for mental illness and that’s different’,” says Gee. “I was like ‘you’re totally right.’ I, as his mom, had trouble saying my child has a mental illness because that’s scary and there’s no way around it.”

Owen, on the other hand, has no problem talking about his mental illness, sparking conversations with people in the grocery store and even having multiple families reach out to say they were seeking help for their child thanks to his campaign.

“He’s really not shy about it or upset about,” says Gee. “He’s just like ‘yea, I got anxiety and depression this year and that sucks’.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Victoria writer and filmmaker turns her mental illness into mental strength

While committing to 50 push-ups daily is a challenge, so is dealing with a mental illness. Despite having some ‘really bad anxiety days’ accompanied by one — or even sometimes, two — hour-long panic attacks, Owen still did all those push-ups.

“At the end of [one of his bad days] I said ‘Owen I’m going to do the push-ups for you and you just go rest’ and he was adamant,” says Gee. “He did them in his bed one night just to get them done.”

The money raised will be divided up between four charities Owen chose: Buddy Check for Jesse, Head and Heart SK, Stigma-Free Society and FamilySmart. Every night Gee and Owen live stream their push-ups. See their videos or follow their story at www.facebook.com/LindsayLGee/ or to make a donation visit https://fundly.com/50-for-50-pushup-challenge-for-childhood-mental-health-aware-50-for-50-pushups-challenge.

“I need people to support him and to just acknowledge what he’s done for the last 50 days,” says Gee. “He’s a rock star, he’s amazing.”

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