I met Isaac and his family when my eldest son, Rhyan, started at St Patrick’s college in 2013 where in year 7 he and Isaac became friends. They shared the same passion in playing cricket and football which later saw them both play in the senior first side for cricket.

Kim and I spent endless summer days and nights watching our boys do what they love which also saw our younger son’s, Eli & Oscar, becoming buddies and doing the occasional sleepover.

It was also then in 2017 that we became aware Isaac was not well and soon after he started receiving help for depression.

Kim and I spoke regularly about mental health, as it is something very important to both of us. I shared with Kim my own experiences, having lived and dealt with loved ones battle myself. It is hard and I recognise the importance to keep talking.

We really wanted to do something, and we were trying to come up with ideas of how and what we could do to help. Sadly, a couple of weeks later Isaac passed away.

The day we lost Isaac, I remember sitting on the edge of my bed looking up to the sky and begged ‘please do not let Isaac die. Please do not’

You see, I had a vision of Isaac dressed in smart attire, talking to children at schools about his journey with depression and how he is here right now to tell his story. Wanting to help others that are especially affected by this dreadful illness.

An illness, that at the time, not many knew enough about. Especially young people and Isaac was going to help change that.

When I received the message from Kim (Isaac’s Mum) to say devastatingly Isaac did not wake from his coma, I could not believe it. Isaac is meant to be here, telling his story!

I looked to the sky again through tears and made a promise. A promise to Isaac and his family that I will do whatever it takes to make sure Isaac’s story is told.
I then went into overdrive, we needed to start something and do whatever we can to help people understand mental health issues and to also promote positive outcomes, acts of kindness and most importantly that help is available.

Kim and I along with Rulla, Isaac (Maxi’s) former football coach who had already started on the name and branding, created Make Runs Maxi.

To date Make Run Maxi along with the huge support of Deloraine & Longford football clubs and Westbury & Mowbray cricket clubs hold annual football and cricket games for the Make Runs Maxi cup. Maxi played junior football for Longford, Deloraine, and Westbury and at the age of 15 played in the senior sides for Deloraine and Westbury.

He had a lot of mates that play for Mowbray so it seemed fitting for the clubs to be involved at a personal level.

It is always a great day where we also raise enormous awareness and funds to our charity.

Our charity is currently working with Headspace implementing and assisting with programmes for our youth.

Together we can all make a difference. Let’s keep making runs!

Jodie Mansell – Make Runs Maxi