Fight against suicide taken into kickboxing ring

ALWAYS CHERISHED: The Quandamooka Cup on June 17 will honour the memory of Mitchell Heilig. Photo: Supplied

ALWAYS CHERISHED: The Quandamooka Cup on June 17 will honour the memory of Mitchell Heilig. Photo: Supplied

AN unwelcome truth for Muay Thai boxer Sandy Heilig is that three times as many men kill themselves as women.

She has known four young men whose lives were cut short because of suicide and wants to do everything she can to stop it.

One of the victims was her 23-year-old nephew Mitchell Heilig, who passed away in 2016.

“Suicide is real and it changes your whole world,” she said.

“Our family will never be the same again since Mitchy left us. It is a horrible thing to go through.”

Ms Heilig is  taking the fight against suicide into the kickboxing ring, with help from Shut The Gate Events and Muay Thai Mouth Australia.

The group hope to raise more than $20,000 for suicide prevention services from charity fight, The Quandamooka Cup, on June 17.

The event will be held at Redlands PCYC from 1pm.

About $21,500 was raised for Beyond Blue from the first cup held in 2016, with this year’s beneficiaries soon to be decided.

“If we can stop just one (fatal) decision, it will have been worth it,” Ms Heilig said.

While the tournament will commemorate the memory of Mitchell, a Muay Thai fighter, Ms Heilig said the spirit of North Stradbroke Island teen Jai Burns would not be forgotten.

The Quandamooka Cup was set up in 2016 as a mental health fundraiser following Jai’s suicide the previous year.

He was only 19.

Ms Heilig said the cup would become an annual event.

“We hope to honour both through the Quandamooka Cup to make sure they didn’t go in vain,” she said.

“The Quandamooka Cup is to build a legacy for both of the boys.”

If you or someone you know is in need of emotional or mental health support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.