Team RxISK takes first big step in England: Get involved
With millions of people throughout the world participating in sporting events to raise money for many different causes, who would ever think that prescription drug safety could become a cause worth supporting? Katinka Newman did.
As the first fundraiser in the world for Team RxISK Katinka Newman from London, England raised nearly £2000 for RxISK.org by participating in the Hastings Half Marathon on March 23, 2014.
Overcoming personal adversity was the driving motivational force behind Katinka. Two years ago she was prescribed an antidepressant that caused a psychotic reaction. She was then given an antipsychotic to combat the psychosis. Katinka suffered side effects from these drugs and was put on more drugs. After a few months she was on five medications including lithium. Katinka became a complete zombie, was unable to work or concentrate, put on three stone and became suicidal. Eventually she was admitted into a hospital through the emergency department where she was taken off all of the medications.
“Running the Hastings Half Marathon symbolized my return to fitness after a long illness caused by a cocktail of antidepressant and antipsychotic medications,” says Katinka. “Looking back, it’s painful to remember how chronically ill I was. I have no doubt that if I hadn’t stopped taking the medication I would have killed myself.”
Katinka crossing the finish line at the Hastings Half Marathon
According to Katinka, “RxISK.org is doing a vitally important job in raising awareness of the potentially lethal side effects of antidepressants and other prescription drugs. It was a privilege to raise money for them. During the race, when things got tough the thought that kept me going was my children at the finish line. They had lost their mum for a couple of years and I wanted to prove to them that I was not only back, but stronger than ever before.”
Katinka celebrates finishing the half marathon with her children Lily and Oscar.
Get involved with Team RxISK
Even if you do not want to participate in a sporting event yourself, there are several things you can do to help build a global Team RxISK including:
- Finding people that live in your community who would be willing to run, cycle or participate in any sporting event as a member of Team RxISK.
- Asking organizers of local sporting events to select RxISK.org as a charitable beneficiary.
- Encouraging people in your neighbourhood who recognize the importance of making medicines safer for all of us.
RxISK.org has established RxISK Funds with charitable organizations in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.