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The moment I received news that my brother Will Taylor had died, I was seated on my living room couch. I was 23. I was living in Santa Monica. It was a Saturday morning, March 4, 2017. My mom called.

I learned later that it was suicide.

Will, nicknamed “Scooty” for his agile and quick moves on the basketball court, was a senior in college when he died by suicide at age 21. Ever the fun-loving, charismatic, loyal, competitive friend, son and brother, Will grew up in Mercer Island, Washington and attended Santa Clara University to study economics and political science. He was a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity, was active socially and was expected to graduate in spring of 2017.

Will’s death left the many who knew him shocked, confused and grief-stricken, dumbfounded, wondering “why?” He expressed no feelings of desperation. He expressed no feelings of sorrow. He expressed nothing indicative of hopelessness or dejection or distress. His death left me heartbroken.

In honor of Will, I founded a non-profit, The Scooty Fund, with several friends. The Scooty Fund’s mission is to promote, support and advance culture surrounding mental health and wellness in ways that enhance the lives and well-being of young people. Driven by this mission, The Scooty Fund focuses on encouraging conversation, destigmatizing mental health “issues,” building supportive and open communities, educating others, raising funds for crisis resources and, above all, helping young people prioritize their mental wellness in ways that WORK.

We believe: there is a WILL and a WAY; no one is alone; it’s OK to not be ok.

The Scooty Fund is honored to participate in Didi Hirsch’s 2018 Alive & Running event as a Platinum Sponsor and is proud to support the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center. Didi Hirsch’s work in suicide prevention, counseling, awareness and individual support is (literally and figuratively) vital.

I run in honor of my brother Will “Scooty” Taylor, in gratitude for the support I have received from my friends, family and greater community and in hopes that together, we can effect long term change.