Dear friends & family,
Sunday September 25th, will be the 6th time that Team Julian participates in the Alive & Running walk for suicide prevention. Our team has grown to over 50 walkers and donors, raising over $12,000 for suicide prevention last year. Whenever I have waivered even a little bit, I run into team members who excitedly ask me when the next walk is to take place. The cause has taken on a life of its own!
Losing my son Julian to suicide is the reason why I participate in the suicide prevention fundraising walks to raise funds and awareness. Julian like many chose to suffer in silence and that is why I am so determined to continue the fight to end the stigma of suicide and mental illness. The pain of losing a loved one by suicide is for a lifetime. I want to encourage black teens in particular to reach out for help when they are thinking about suicide so that their families don’t have to endure the pain my family and I have to live with. For those of you that are not familiar with my story, it is posted on the Didi Hirsch home page.
With the number of deaths by suicide and attempts increasing, promoting action to prevent it has never been more important. Every 15 minutes, someone loses their life by suicide in the United States. In addition, for every suicide, it is estimated there are 25 suicide attempts. Many individuals suffer from severe emotional pain in silence. In that moment 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 50,000 women, men and young people turned to its 24-hour Crisis Line last year. I have personally accessed some of the programs that Didi Hirsch has to offer survivors. Knowing that I was not alone and found other survivors to lean on for support was very comforting.
I want us to honor the memory of loved ones lost. Matthew Mezza who died on January 15th 2011 he was 14 years old; Josh James Jackson who died on May 6th 2010 he was 15 years old, Ross Berry who died on June 27th 2011 he was 25. Their beautiful mothers are Ellie, Celeste and Olga. Ian Michael Polinko who we lost on August 8th 2003 him and his sister Leah Petite Polinko on March 31st 2014 who’s beautiful mother is Petite Henry. Kevin Delange who passed on October 19th 2015 at the age of 27 his surviving wife is Nikkol Delange. Together we have formed an unusual bond and lean on each other for strength and support during the tough times. I also want to remember Donelle’s friend “War” Roderick
Please join me on this walk, by clicking on the link and “find a team” then find “Team Julian”. Through July 31st there is a $10 discount using code EARLYBIRD. There is also a discount for students. If you are unable to walk and would like to donate to my team please click on the same link. Your continued support has given me the fuel I need to continue raising awareness and funds for suicide prevention and much needed help for survivors of suicide in Julian’s memory.
Photos from our walk last year are posted on our team page.
Thank you again for your love and support,