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Monique Franklin

One night in March of 2014 my brother Mark did not come home from work. No one could reach him on his phone nor did we know where he was. His wife started calling the police, sheriff and hospitals with no luck. She decided to drive the route he would have taken to his office. At 2:00am she called to let me know she had found him. There are no words to describe the depth of despair in finding out my only brother was gone. The unimaginable had happened, he took his own life.

If you knew Mark, you know that he was the life of the party, always laughing, making jokes and bringing smiles to the faces of everyone he met. He was always quick to try and point out the positive in situations and would go out of his way to help others.

On the outside, he was an awesome dad, a great friend and the best brother I could have ever had. Everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him, loved him. It was hard not to! He was that guy who had it all: a wife, five great kids, a nice house and a good job.

On the inside, he was suffering from depression to the level none of us fully understood. Every day was a struggle for him. He shared some of those demons with me but in the end it became too much for him to bear. If nothing else, I want to share his story in an effort to help others who might be suffering and let them know they can get help.

Every 13 minutes, someone dies by suicide in the United States and another 25 people attempt it. Many individuals suffer in silence. But when a person in crisis needs someone to listen and respond, Didi Hirsch's Suicide Prevention Center is here to help. In fact, more than 70,000 children, teens and adults turned to our 24/7 English-Spanish Crisis Line last year.

You can help save lives by supporting Didi Hirsch's 18th annual Alive & Running 5K Walk/Run for Suicide Prevention. The event will be held on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at La Tijera Parkway in Los Angeles.

More than 2,000 runners, walkers and volunteers from all over Southern California will come together to raise awareness and funding for suicide prevention services. Children under 12 have their own "Kiddie-K". All proceeds benefit the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center.

Thank you for your support!

Monique

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