Ottawa Citizen

Turning pain into passion


At the age of 23, faced with the terminal illness of a loved one, Gordon Cudney’s world crumbled. Suddenly he was experienci­ng unfamiliar feelings of hopelessne­ss, extreme anxiety, loss of appetite and sleepless nights. Cudney was diagnosed with depression. He sought help and slowly life returned to normal.

Within a year, however, the depression came back.

“I remember doing yoga from a book to try and get rid of the anxiety,” said Cudney. “I was so disappoint­ed this wasn’t just one event that created the original illness, but that depression was going to be a buddy of mine for life. This was really hard for me and made recovery more difficult.”


It wasn’t long before Cudney, a lawyer, was inspired to get involved with mental health philanthro­py.

Since 2010, Cudney has worked tirelessly to fundraise and raise awareness about mental illness. Specifical­ly, he has helped lead and grow The Royal’s annual charity golf tournament, The Open, to raise $250,000 in 2018. As a member of the executive cabinet for The Royal’s Campaign for Mental Health, Cudney was instrument­al in raising several million dollars toward the $25 million campaign goal.


In 2018, Gordon became chair of the board of directors for The Royal’s Foundation. “Our board is proud to represent an organizati­on that cares for some of the most vulnerable people in our community and is relentless in the pursuit to better understand the brain.”

“The Foundation is looking to support the improvemen­t and expansion of access to mental health services in the community,” said Mitchell Bellman, president and CEO, Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. “Our incredible volunteer leadership and generous donors will make our dreams a reality.”

Be part of this historical journey by contacting the Foundation at 613-722-6521, ext. 7092 or

 ??  ?? Gordon Cudney with his wife, Alex Taggart, and their three children.
Gordon Cudney with his wife, Alex Taggart, and their three children.

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