Thank you from the One Step Walkers

ONE STEP AT A TIME - Canning Stock Route 2014 -2015

Mick Weber support driver/head of logistics and Rose Weber founder/ walker of the CSR

Mick and Rose Weber started their walk of the Canning Stock Route in July 2014. Unfortunately a few weeks in Mick became very unwell  and had to be flown out for emergency surgery, which put a hold on their CSR Trek 2014.

Just like life there are always bumps in the road, their aim is to never give up, you have to adapt and move on but don't give up.
 
Everything happens for a reason, by putting their trek on hold till May 2015 it opened up many wonderful opportunites; A growing number of volunteers joined them in their journey of creating awareness, including 4 more walkers and two more support vehicles, as well as a group of people who do all the behind the scenes work.
 
Our One Step at a Time Members are:
The team of walkers:
Sarah Whitmarsh, Jo Graham, Cathy Williams, Samuel Lancaster and Rose Weber. 
Crew:
Michael Weber, Saxon Weber, Malcolm Williams and Crystal Bevan.
 
The walk is not to break any world records or for personal glory it is a team walk, each walker has their own personal goals they want to achieve, but they are all there for a comon goal - Creating awareness about mental illness and suicide prevention. Collectively the walkers did 3500kms between them.
The Canning Stock Route is a metaphor for life even though the road is tough, never give up set your own goals in life no matter how many bumps there are on the way. If you need to change directions in how you achieve your life's goals then embrace that and lean on your support network to achieve your dreams. Never be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Life is a challenge for many but whatever your dreams or personal goals in life are take it One Step at a time.
 
Mick and Rose are ordinary Australians who have found each other and openly admit they are closer than soul mates. They also have 5 grown up children whom they are very proud off. They feel so fortunate to live in a country that has so much culture and opportunities for anyone who is willing to accept a challenge. They would like to acknowldgeand all fellow Australians followers and supporters world wide for the support they have received.
 
Mick and Rose Weber also do a lot of public speaking appointments talking about mental illness, suicide prevention, depression, anxiety and their own life's experiences with mental illness and suicide. They hope with their grass roots approach with a taboo subject it will break down the stigma, so anyone in a dark place will get the help they so desperately need.  If you would like to them to come and make an appearance at your event, please contact them direct.
 
FUNDRAISING:
 
We are raising much needed funds to keep supporting our charity Suicide Prevention Australia. You will be issued a receipt upon donation form SPA. (All donations over $2 are tax deductable)
 
 makingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/page/Webers
 
 
OUR CONTACT DETAILS (FACEBOOK) - PLEASE LIKE/JOIN OUR PAGES AND HELP SPREAD AWARENESS
 
 
 
 
 
 www.facebook.com/geraldtonmentalhealth
 
MICK -  0429921395 (support driver/head logistics) - mickandsaxon@tpg.com.au
 
 
ROSE - 0457659395 (walker/founder) - rosey351@tpg.com.au
 
In 2013 Mick, Rose and Saxon Weber did a 5000km bicycle ride through Western Australia, for the same cause. To see more about their ride click on the tab above.
 
 
 
  
 

Samuel Lancaster (15 years old - Walker) Bio:
Hi my name is Sam and I will be the youngest member of the crew to walk the CSR. My 16th birthday is only 2 or 3 days before we set off on our ‘walk’.
I have two older siblings, my brother Dylan who is 21 and my sister Ashlee who is 17. I was born in Geraldton and lived for the first 7 years in a small county town with Mum, Dad, my brother and sister and dog Barney. Mum and Dad separated when I was about 2 so I don’t really remember this time. I went to the local public school which was not very big. I had a hard time at school for a little while. School was challenging and I used to get picked on and bullied a lot. Eventually my Mum took me out of that school and enrolled me at the local Catholic school which was much better. I was only there for one year before we moved to Geraldton.
When I was about 5 I was diagnosed with ADHD, I had many tests because my Mum did not agree. Mum tells me that I would never sit still, talk non-stop and that I had a very short attention span, she also tells me that I used to have lots of ‘melt downs’ and she is very pleased I have grown out of that. I am in High School now and I am doing very well, I no longer get picked on or bullied and I get very angry when I see kids being mean to other kids. I don’t understand why kids have to be so cruel.
Earlier this year I sailed on the Leeuwin tall sailing ship from Monkey Mia to Fremantle, it took 1 week and it was a great adventure. I am very excited to be walking the CSR next year; it will be another exciting adventure. I wish I could take my dog Bruce with me.
The things I like to do are to play my guitar and I love to skate, my best mate is my dog Bruce.

Jo Graham (Walker of the CSR - Sam's Mum) Bio:
Hi, my name is Jo and along with my son Sam we are two of the walkers for next year’s CSR Walking Trek for Suicide Awareness.
I was born in Esperance sometime last century. I lived on a farm in Munglinup with my parents and younger brother. Dad eventually sold his share of the farm to his brother and started working as a farm manager. We moved from the farm to the big smoke of Geraldton when I was 9 when my Dad began work as stock representative. We were transferred to the small country town of Calingiri when I was 15 and I boarded at the Northam hostel where I went to school for Yrs 11 & 12.
I then spread my wings and moved to Perth were I had several jobs ranging from a sales assistant at Katies to an Outside Clerk with solicitors Freehill Hollingdale and Page. This type of work and lifestyle was not to last and being a county girl at heart I ended up (on a whim) catching a Greyhound bus to Meekatharra and worked at the pubs as a bar maid. I enjoyed this time of my life very much, Meekatharra was a very vibrant place in the 80’s with lots of mining activity in the area. I fell in love with one of the miners and life was great until tragedy struck when he was killed when his motorbike collided with a car South of Meekatharra. This was a very tough time but I made it through.
At the age of 20 I left Meekatharra and was employed as a truck driver at a mine called Horseshoe Lights. At that time there were only a handful of females employed on the mines and this was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I worked at various mines over the next 6 years and these years were without doubt some of the best times of my life. I have, to this day many very good friends who will always play a big role in my life and have been by my side through the years that followed. During these years I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to New Zealand, Indonesia and I also went to Europe on my own.
I was working at Reedys Gold Mine where I met and fell in love with a driller, we eventually married and have 3 amazing children. Unfortunately our marriage did not last, however we are still good friends. I often wonder if the impact of my husband working FIFO not only in Australia but overseas for months at a time contributed to the breakdown of our marriage. This was a very difficult time but with the support of my family and friends I made it through.
I was living in a small country town with my children, working part time at the local newsagents for approx. 3 years. My parents also lived in the same town and were amazing support for myself and my children. I volunteered my time to the local St John Ambulance and during this time I witnessed first-hand the devastation and impact that depression and suicide have on not only the family but the entire community, this ripple effect is crippling.
In December 2006, we relocated to Geraldton. Over the next four years I was fortunate enough to be able to study locally and I graduated November 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science. It was during this time that unbeknown to me, my daughter nominated me for the Barnardo’s Mother of the Year, I was totally blown away when I received a call to inform me that not only had I been nominated but I was also 1 of 3 in WA who had been short listed for this award.
I now work as a Registered Nurse at the Geraldton hospital which is where I met the lovely Rosemary Weber. There have been many hurdles and challenges along the way but my family and friends have kept me grounded and I am blessed each day to have these amazing people in my life.
There are many reasons that I have decided along with my youngest Son Sam to take part and join Rose, Sarah, Cathy, Saxon and Mick on the CSR next year. I have at least two people who are very close to me who suffer from depression, it is a daily battle for them and over the years and still today I am forever grateful that they are still with me. The old cliché, ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ is very relevant. Unfortunately I bear witness all too often to the impact and devastation that depression and Suicide have in our community.
The experience of being able to walk the CSR and to have one of my children embrace this as well, is a once in a lifetime event while at the same time contributing to a very worthwhile and all too real cause.
Raising awareness, preventing suicide and eliminating the stigma associated with mental health is a critical health issue!

Sarah Whitmarsh (Walker of the CSR) Bio:
My name is Sarah and I am 43 years of age.

I was born in England in 1972 and I had a younger brother whom was born in 1973.

His name is John
18 years ago John took his own life. And there is never a day that goes past that I don’t think about him.

I think about how lonely he must of felt or how desperately sad he must have been to feel like there was no other way.

I haven’t always felt like this. Initially when I found out what he had done, I was angry and thought he was a selfish git. And I felt so sorry for the man walking his dog whom found him. But as time went on and I thought about it more and time does heal. I grew to understand more to how he would have been feeling.

I myself have been rock bottom and actually lined up tablets ready for me to overdose on them. I started to take them then thought of the hurt that I had felt when John had past and decided I couldn’t put the family through that again.

We both didn’t have the best of childhoods, John lived with my Aunt and uncle I lived with a wonderful lady called Joy in what you call Supportive lodgings(A form of foster care where I learn to look after myself; for me I most probably dealt with it in a completely different way. It spurred me on to make a better life for me; I did sort of think stuff you lot I don’t need you.. Even though there were times I didn’t think this was ever going to be possible. But here I am 18 years on and here to tell the story. In doing so I am hoping this will help others. Not just to think about what they are doing but to get help. To know that they are not alone and that there are people that will listen and not judge.

I still have days even though far and few in between, where I could quite happily lie in bed not get dressed so I don’t have to face the world. But I do kick myself up the arse and think if I don’t do something for me no one else will........

I now Live in Port Denison a beautiful place in Western Australia. I have married a wonderful man and I run my own business in Hairdressing. So I am a million miles away to where I was back then.

Life is really harsh sometimes but life is so beautiful too. It will push and test you. And when you do come out on the other side you will look back and reflect and think how did all that happen and why. Sometimes there will be answers and then there are times that you may never find an answer. But finding a way to cope and move forward is sometimes the only way. for some they haven’t got this fight. Or they yet don’t really understand the feelings they feel.

They need people to talk to not to judge, they also need people they can trust. Because to reveal this much about oneself is trust in itself.

Help us get rid of this stigma. And Help us to help those that need our understanding.

I miss my brother and I miss sharing the burden of our childhood.... As John would have been the only person that would totally understand.

But most of all I miss sharing our Adulthood. And ask the questions would he have been married and had kids... Would he have moved to Australia too or would he make sure he stayed in touch via Skype and come on the occasional holidays.
Who knows.

I am hoping this trek of 1800km from Wiluna to Halls Creek would have been something he would have been proud to be a part of.

I am looking forward to the challenge of this trek and the adventures it may bring.

Cathy Williams (Walker of the CSR) Bio
Name: Cathy Willliams
Age: 50
Children: 2 Boys, Shaun 24 & Kim 23
Married to Malcolm (My very patient & loving husband of 20 years)
Pets: Sasha, my wonderful walking companion
Quirks: My 3 life size dinosaurs in my backyard
Favourite Holidays: Outback Camping & Family Get togethers
My maiden name is Canning which gives me a unique link to the CSR, but aside from that I lost a first cousin to suicide and have seen someone close to me go through depression, and felt the helplessness of not knowing how to help.
My husband and I have only recently moved to Horrocks beach from our farm 20 kms away, which has been in his family for over 100 years. We are both semi-retired now so hopefully this will allow us more time to explore this great country and what it has to offer.

Rose Weber (Walker of the CSR) and her best mate Milly (Part Walker of the CSR) Bio:
I am 43 years old DOB 7/4/1971. I am born and bred in Geraldton and grew up with my brother Claude and my parents whom emigrated from Italy. My childhood was filled with many happy memories, what we lacked in financially we made up with love. I grew up with a passion for the outdoors, always fishing, camping, surfing and hunting with my dad and brother, which has left me to this day a tomboy and with memories of laughter, good health and feeling loved.
I married young and had three amazing children who are now grown up, Emily 20 years, Heidi 19 years and Ben 16 years old. It was during this period of my life that I finally did my nursing and found my passion. As life went on I met the most wonderful person Michael Weber (Mick) in 2007, I often say my only regret in life is that I hadn’t met him soon. One year later we were married and I gained two extra children, step sons Dylan 22yrs and Saxon 19 years old.
Life has thrown me some difficult times with past health problems, stress of divorce, being a single parent, finances but nothing compares to the loss of a loved one. I lost my brother on the 4th October 2011 to suicide – it was my daughters Heidi sweet 16th birthday. To this day the memories of that moment and the months that followed are too traumatic to think off. He was 41 years old and a single father to Harley who was 17 years old at the time, unfortunately our dad and Harley saw him hanging. That vision will never go away and it has a dramatic effect on all of us, my mum is now a frail old lady and my dad and Harley are living with PTSD for the rest of their lives. No parent should ever have to bury their child and no child should ever have to witness the death of their parent. The impact it has had on my life is dramatic I had to be the strong one for our kids, Harley who then came to live with us and my parents, none of which would of been possible without Mick by my side.
I do not know what it is like to have depression but I do know what is like to feel overwhelming grief that has lead to anxiety and emotional turmoil. I have also witnessed firsthand what depression is Mick has suffered from depression and anxiety for many years, long before I met him. I see the crippling emotional and physical turmoil it possesses. I also see that it is no different to any other medical problem and yet people don’t get the help they so desperately need because of the stigma attached to it. After all the years of nursing and being confronted with the stigma/taboo around mental illness, watching Mick suffer and ultimately burying my brother, I had enough and am standing up to the stigma I will no longer accept the horrendous statistics associated with suicide.
For three years now I have been creating awareness surrounding mental illness and suicide and have made it my life’s mission to continue to do so or until the day depression, anxiety and all mental illnesses are as accepted as much as any other illness “One Step at a Time”

Mick Weber (Head Logistics and Support Vehicle no 1) Bio:
My name is Michael Weber and I suffer from Depression.
In 1999 I was sitting at my father’s bed side and watched him take his last breath. He died from mesothelioma. Cancer caused by breathing in asbestos. I was shattered. He taught me so much. Even today friends say geeez you are a jack of all trades. Well I owe all that to my dad.
For weeks I couldn’t except that he was gone. My sadness went on for months. My family often said you need to snap out of it, you have your wife and kids to look after. I could feel myself slipping into a dark place. I lost my job; my wife and I would argue often, but the worst thing I was neglecting my kids. I would spend much of my time sleeping and lost all motivation.
I decided to go to my GP and he said I was suffering from depression. My first thought was that he was wrong. I wasn’t crazy, that happens to weak people, not me. He prescribed antidepressants which I took for a few months and I started to feel better, so I thought well I feel better now I don’t need to take them anymore, so I stopped. For the next six months I was doing well, then everything started going wrong. I became mentally abusive to my wife, which I am not proud of. I was so frustrated with my life. I felt everything was going wrong and the more I tried to fix things the worse it got.
I got home one day and my wife and kids were gone. There was a note. “I have taken the kids and don’t try to find us”. I fell apart. I moved into a caravan at my mum’s house, had $4000 to my name, no job and now my family was gone. Life couldn’t get any worse, well so I thought. After a few weeks I was able to see my kids, which for a while I was happy about, but when they came over to see me I found it hard to get out of bed and do things with them. They would ask if we could go fishing. I would say yeah next time you come up we will, but it never happened. They would come up for the weekend and we would sit in the caravan and watch TV. Mum would often say, pull yourself together, your kid’s need you, which made me feel even worse. I know they were bored but I just couldn’t motivate myself to do things with them. They would tell me all the fun things they did during the week and the weekend I didn’t have them, which made me feel terrible. As time went on my eldest son would stop coming up. I didn’t want them to feel they had to come up. Some weekends I even hoped they wouldn’t as I knew they would be bored. I had had enough. I couldn’t do it anymore. During that week I sat in my van thinking how to end it all. I didn’t want my kids to live with the fact that there dad committed suicide so I thought hitting a power pole at high speed would just look like an accident. The next weekend they came up and I told them I loved them and did what I could with them. On the way back to their house I was looking at power poles on the opposite side of the road. I dropped them off and told them once more that I loved them. I turned the car around and looked back and waved to them with tears in my eyes. Driving along the highway one pole went past; no I hit the next one, then the next one. I couldn’t do it. I stopped the car and sat there crying. I was such a gutless failure. I couldn’t even take my own life so my kids didn’t have to put up with me anymore. I drove the rest of the way home and went into mum and just collapsed on the floor in a mess. We talked for hours. The next day she drove me to the mental health clinic and was prescribed antidepressants. I think mum being there helped her to understand depression a bit better too. Over the next few weeks I started to feel better. A couple of months later I started working again and my kids would come up and we would go fishing, motorbike riding and do the things father and sons do. I was finally feeling normal again.
Not long after I started dating again. I found though my honesty wasn’t helping me. After a few dates with someone I would mention that I suffer from depression and wouldn’t hear from them again. After a couple of short term failed relationships I decided to pack my car and travel around Australia. I needed a new start as hard as it was leaving my kids behind. During this time I was on an internet dating site and started chatting with a woman in Geraldton. We talked on the phone for a few weeks and I mentioned that I was about to travel and said I would come over and meet here. To my surprise she said how about I fly over to you and we both can drive back. Well the rest is history. Rose and I have been married for 6 years, I have 3 step kids and one of my sons living here with us and the other flies over often.
I am sharing my story with you, not for sympathy, but to show that no matter how bad things get, they WILL get better. Depression isn’t something to be ashamed of. If you have diabetes you take medication for it and people talk about it with no shame, but it seems when it comes to depression and mental illness it’s still a taboo subject. It’s not.
All I ask is that if you know someone who seems to be having a hard time or seem a bit down, just talk to them. You will be surprised; you may just save their life. Also if you are feeling sad over a long period of time or not coping, open up to a friend, or see your GP. I promise you there is a lot of help out there. You just need to take the first step.
Thanks to my mum and my kids for putting up with so much crap from me. Love you lots.

Milly Bio:
Pure bred Staffie, female 7 years old. I like food and sleeping and my mum is making me walk the Canning Stock Route. But that's ok as long as I get food.

Hi we would be happy to share our photos and stories with you, however you need to obtain written permission from all the members of the One Step Team above in writing prior to any writings being published.
Thank you for your understanding. Cathy WIlliams, Malcolm Williams, Michael Weber, Rose Weber, Jo Graham, Samuel Lancaster, Sarah Whitmarsh. Are the only members of the One Step Team and under no circumstances do we give permission to Gaynor Schoeman to publish our Canning Stock Route Walks. Due to her constant mis-information and bias opinions of our Charity Walks of the Canning Stock Route. Any reporting of us from Gaynor Schoeman has been slanders and misinformed and legal action will be taken for defamation of character.

All other parties are welcome to contact us for written permission to publish our story and help us create awareness of mental illness and stop the stigma. Please contact either Mick or Rose Weber direct if you have any queries.