Two inspiring American and British wounded veterans – Ivan Castro, Major US Army (Ret.), and Karl Hinett – are running the 2017 Boston Marathon and Virgin Money London Marathons in one week to support The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry’s Heads Together Campaign which aims to change the conversation about mental health and end the shame and stigma, which surrounds it.
Castro sustained life-threatening injuries and was blinded in both eyes during combat in Iraq in 2006. Hinett was just 19 when he was involved in an attack on his 26-ton Warrior Tank while serving in Iraq in 2005, resulting in 37% burns to his hands, legs, arms, and face. Between them both, Castro and Hinett have spent over 100 hours on the operating table, more than 12 months confined to a hospital bed and endured over 100 surgeries.
They both discovered that a huge part of their recovery – both physical and mental – was through their running and, combined, have run over 200 marathons and ultra-marathon races around the globe, including the North Pole, Antarctica, and the Amazon.
This April, Castro and Hinett will dedicate their miles to raise money and raise awareness for the mental well-being of veterans in both the U.S. and the U.K. With these two marathons, the two Veterans are keen to build on the great work that is already taking place across the country, to ensure that people feel comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing, feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times, and that stigma no longer prevents people getting help they need.
Funds raised in the U.S. by the American Friends of The Royal Foundation will directly support Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program, and its programs dedicated to healing the invisible wounds for Post-9/11 Veterans, Service Members, and their Families.
Funds raised in the UK will support the Heads Together mental health projects currently in development, and the work of its UK Charity Partners leading the way in mental health care and awareness.
To contribute to Castro and Hinnett’s #HeadsTogether marathon challenge, or to support Home Base, click here.