It was a feeling of massive accomplishment for Rotorua's Danielle Porteous after she cycled 85km from Rotorua to Taupō to raise money for a charity close to her heart.

Danielle cycled the long distance last Saturday to raise money for the charity Mothers Helpers.

Mothers Helpers provides early intervention support to mothers experiencing depression/anxiety during pregnancy or after baby's born, helping them to recover as quickly as possible to reduce the impact it can have on the whole family.

She says doing the ride was exciting but hard work - "I don't think we considered how hard the last stretch would be".


Towards the end of the ride was quite hilly, but it was fun and she felt great after, Danielle says.

"My body actually recovered quite well. It was a massive accomplishment and felt great because I was able to finish it.

"It feels great to model to other people that you can keep going no matter what's happened."

Danielle spent four months training and initially only managed to cycle 4km.

However, with a supportive coach by her side, Malcolm Hore, Danielle was managing 50km before the cycle and says the effort has been worth it.

She says Mothers Helpers is a cause which touches her heart because she wasn't diagnosed with her own perinatal depression/anxiety for five years, which caused massive issues for her.

"For me, supporting these charities is very personal and is a great thing."

Danielle says the reason she took up cycling for the fundraiser is because, for her, going through the depression is like a bike ride.


"You've got your ups and downs and it's a long journey. For me is shows the experience we go through with our mental health and the journey it takes as well."

Mother Helpers was set up by founder Kristina Paterson in 2010 in response to an estimate of 7500 New Zealand women experiencing delays in diagnosis and treatment for perinatal depression/anxiety every year.

Kristina says: "There is currently no government funding to address delays in diagnosis and the only funded treatment options for most people are medication, when best practice says we should be offering talk therapy first to those with mild depression/anxiety.

"If it wasn't for the efforts of amazing people like Danielle Porteous, and those donating to her cause, we simply wouldn't be able to deliver this vital service - and that includes providing support to some of the families with young children who have lost a loved one in the recent Christchurch attacks."

Danielle's journey can be followed on her @Yes Man Journey Facebook page and people can still donate at