LIVIN News & Blogs
Jess Burke – Climbing for Cooper
77 floors, 1330 steps, and no previous training! Read why Jess Burke took on and conquered this challenge AND is doing it all again!
Meet Jess: I was born and raised in the inner city of Brisbane. I am the eldest of four children. I’m turning 29 this year and very excited to make my mark or two for the last year of my 20’s. I work in marketing and communications for a Defence company that makes army tanks where I work with an amazing team surrounded by great people who push me to be my best and support me. I have two border collies – Louie and Mowgli (named after the Jungle Book) who are my world. I’ve lived a very active life playing touch football for 18 years and going to the gym. This has also helped me when my mental health needs tuning. I have always been a hard worker, up for any challenge, and always ready for something new.
Last year, two weeks before the Q1 stair challenge I decided to participate in the physical and mental challenge. I became the top 3rd fundraiser for 2021 raising $3,583.25 in two weeks, had done no training, and was an additional 18kgs heavier but did the challenge in 19 minutes. I entered again this year to beat that time and raise more money and awareness for mental health and suicide prevention.
On the 18th of October 2019, I lost my little brother Cooper (14.11.01 – 18.10.19) to suicide two weeks before his 18th birthday. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. I miss him every day and don’t want to see anyone go through the pain of losing a loved one like that. Losing a loved one is never easy, but I never thought as the big sister I would have to say goodbye first or so early. Cooper was a bright boy who was and is very loved. He was my baby but taller brother which he had much joy pointing out whenever I stood next to him. He loved collecting different-themed Monopoly which he always cheated when we played with him. He was really good at playing the guitar which he taught himself to play. I have always raised money for different charities ever since I was young but there is something different about raising money and awareness for something that has hit you personally.
The impact of losing Cooper heightened my passion to support mental health awareness and going through my own mental health struggles in the past, it’s always been of importance to me personally.
My advice to someone struggling would be take time off work, you have sick days and mental health is a reason to have a day off or even a week off. I can’t express enough how much it hurt losing my brother to suicide. Please talk to someone, anyone. Even if you don’t say anything but sit there with someone. Find a hobby that as soon as you are feeling down you can do that will help with your mental state.
You can support me by either donating to my page here to get to my goal or you can even support me by talking about mental health and suicide. Mental health and suicide needs to be spoken about – the stigma needs to be broken.
SkyPoint Sea to Sky Q1 Stair Challenge, 20 March 2022.
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