November 07, 2016
BENEFITING: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
ORGANIZER: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
EVENT DATE: Nov 06, 2016
On 11/2/15, I woke up to the devastating news that my sister, Kathleen, had taken her own life. Kat, who was only one year older than me, suffered from mental illness her entire life; and for her she believed she could not go on living in this world with that illness any longer. In the immediate months following her death I carefully chose the words I used when mentioning her death. I was selective with my words out of fear that people would judge her when they found out she died by suicide. I wanted to protect her from the stigma that is attached to mental illness and suicide. Even though society does not treat it in the same regard, mental illness is just as debilitating as physical illness.
In addition to the physical and emotional pain I was going through in grieving her death, I also found my anguish more difficult to cope with since I was not being completely honest about the cause of death. For those of you who don't know, running marathons is my passion. I plan to run a marathon in all 50 states in under 4 hours. As of this writing (5/6/16) I have run 30 marathons in 24 states. On 11/6/16, I will be running the NYC marathon for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This is my platform to raise awareness about mental illness and suicide. I have an obligation to share my story to help change the conversation, so that people with suicidal thoughts don't have to feel ashamed. In running this marathon, my goal is to raise better awareness for mental illness in hopes that it will begin to be seen in a different light. With the conversation changing and the stigma diminishing, lives will be saved and grieving families won't have to question what to say if they lose a loved one to suicide out of fear of judgment.
I am hoping to raise $4,000 for AFSP! Any donations would be greatly appreciated!