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Former UFC fighter biking across Florida New Year's Day to raise men's mental health awareness

Din Thomas raises $1,000
Posted at 4:47 PM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 16:47:17-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — While we move on from the year 2020, many are paying more attention to mental health.

"Because I've been through it, I can give them that support," said Din Thomas, former Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor.

Thomas is now retired and offers training sessions inside his garage for up-and-coming fighters.

On New Year's Day, he will be riding his bike across the state to raise awareness for men's mental health.

He has partnered with the HeadsUpGuys organization and reached his goal of raising $1,000.

"I wanted to dedicate this towards mental health because I am in an industry where a lot of guys suffer from mental health and depression," Thomas said.

Dr. Theodoropoulos, a psychiatrist at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, said men are often more susceptible to mental illness than women.

"We have to be aware as a culture and as a society to help everybody and to help each other," Theodoropoulos said.

Thomas said he wants to provide mental support to the fighters he trained because he didn't have anyone there to support him when was a professional fighter.

"As men, in the sport that I'm in, they're very alpha," said Thomas. "They're afraid to step up and speak about it. So, I just wanted to go and say alright, we're going to speak about this. We're going to talk about this so that you guys can get help."

Thomas plans to leave Titusville at around 6 a.m. Friday and will be accompanied by his life coach.