From Home to Rome – a Man, a Motorhome and a Message (plus some serious mileage)
This isn’t just a story about a man doing some phenomenal fundraising work. This isn’t even just a story about a man who fought against the odds and came out swinging. This IS a story about the journey between clawing out of the murky depths of rock bottom to forging a life of fulfilment, connection and meaning (something we all crave).
Expect tenacity, resilience, a hell of a lot of support and a realisation that putting yourself first is in fact one of the most selfless things you can be doing for the people you love the most.
On 29th April 2023, Dan Keeley will be running 1,100 miles from the London Eye to the Colosseum in Rome. We’re behind him all the way and we’re sure you will be to. Here is Dan’s story.
Running for his life – the moment that changed everything
Before you can understand the gravitas of this extremely physical feat, you must first understand the emotional and mental marathon this man has already conquered to get to this point.
In 2012, Dan Keeley stood on the central lane of an Italian motorway facing oncoming traffic and preaching to shocked drivers that he had all the answers to ease the world’s suffering. By definition, Dan lost his sanity. Fast forward to 2017 – a 5-year journey of rehabilitation, mental health treatment and navigating life with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder – Dan prepared himself to return to Italy but, this time, to run from Rome to Home; the Colosseum to the London Eye (via Sevenoaks).
Dan made this incredible pilgrimage to celebrate his journey of recovery and encourage others to find the courage to speak out, open up and find help if they were suffering.
Today, in 2023, Dan stands before us with his beautiful family, ready to run those same trails again in the opposite direction, with a new outlook and an inspiring fundraising mission.
[Link to YOUTUBE Ted Talk]
From then ‘til now – what has changed?
It’s 2023 – over 10 years on from that defining chapter in Dan’s life. Dan reflects that the energy and focus for Rome to Home in 2017 was very different. Whilst celebrating his recovery and thanking those who supported him along the way, he certainly ‘wasn’t out of the woods’ with a fully stable frame of mind.
Today, Dan’s perspective has evolved, his reflections from 10+ years in the mental-health world have developed, and there’s much to celebrate; so that’s what he and his family are here to do! In their Swift Voyager motorhome, with ‘Team Keeley’ in tow (i.e. his lovely wife Georgie and their two very young children Max & Sophia), this promises to be an unforgettable family adventure with a big message at its heart: to celebrate the power of putting yourself (and your mental-wellbeing) first when you need to.
Putting others and yourself first – the two go hand-in-hand
In our busy and time poor society, it’s easy to get swept up into saying ‘yes’ to things that really don’t serve us, or feeling guilty when we say ‘no’. Dan’s journey is proof that living intentionally, focussing on the things which truly matter most (our health, relationships, passions, growth and contribution), taking time for ourselves and the things which set our soul on fire are all powerful tools towards improving our quality of life and positively impacting those around us. It’s not selfish because you matter. We all do.
“You’re the one person you spend 100% of your life with. How about making it the best relationship you’ve ever had?” – Dan Keeley
Home to Rome 2023
Here’s the skinny on Home to Rome 2023:
From Saturday 29th April and Friday 2nd June 2023, Dan will be running a mind-blowing 1,100 miles in 35 days. Dan, joined by 40 runners (and counting!), will be setting off from the London Eye towards Greenwich Park, Rochester, Canterbury and Folkstone, then onwards through France, Switzerland, the Italian Alps and down through Tuscany to finish at the iconic Colosseum in Rome. Averaging at 35 miles per day over the 35 days, Dan has set himself 3 key goals for this adventure:
- Ensure his family are safe whilst enjoying the journey.
- Put one foot in front of the other from the London Eye to the Colosseum.
- Raise a minimum of £20,000 for CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably)
If Dan ignites the conversation around putting yourself first, and raises £2,000 for Snow Camp when he crosses the Alps (another game-changing charity close to Dan’s heart), then he really will have achieved everything he could have dreamt of with the whole endeavour.
How can you support Dan?
You can’t help but admire Dan’s strength of character and his message of ‘putting yourself first’ – it resonates with every single one of us – and he deserves every bit of support coming his way. Lots of Sevenoaks businesses have come forward to pledge their support, Cryojuvenate (providing recovery treatments) and Better Body Group to name just a couple.
Here’s how you can get behind Dan:
Help Dan reach his target of £20,000 for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (united against suicide) plus an additional target of £2,000 for Snow Camp (turning young lives around with the power of snowsports). Every donation makes a difference.
DONATE TO DAN’S FUNDRAISING FOR CALM HERE
DONATE TO DAN’S FUNDRAISING FOR SNOW CAMP HERE
Spread the word
You can never underestimate the effect of igniting these conversations that are so often needed. The more people who are aware of Dan’s message, the more conversations will be had, and the greater the overall impact.
VISIT THE HOME TO ROME WEBSITE HERE
FOLLOW DAN’S LIVE TRACKER HERE
Connect with Dan
Follow Dan’s journey and connect with Dan via your favourite social channels for updates.
Join us at The London Eye
We, at My Sevenoaks Community, will be at the London Eye on Saturday 29th April 2023 to cheer Dan on from the start line. Dan will be setting off at 10am sharp, so if you’d like to join the occasion, head to the London Eye from 8am onwards. Runners from around Sevenoaks will be running alongside him from the London Eye to Greenwich Park, some of whom will be joining Dan all the way to Rochester – if you fancy it, we’ll see you there!
By Ruby Plenderleith