One sunny spring day six years ago, a courageous 18-year-old girl rang the doorbell to my grandparent’s house. Adopted at birth, she was simply searching for answers about her birth-family that she had been seeking her entire life. Unknowingly, this young woman single-handedly helped fulfill my grandmother’s dying wishes by completing our close-knit family. This is just one example of how my cousin Randi Lemenager changed the lives of those who surrounded her before she took her own life in August 2017. In the short four years that we got to spend with her, she taught us so much.
Randi was a Rockstar in every sense of the word. From graduating college as valedictorian, to being a percussionist in the high school band, to shameless dancing with her closest friends, Randi always had a way of cheering you up with her radiant smile and compassionate personality. Not only did she excel in everything she put her mind to, but she was also the most humble, kind and caring person you would have ever met. After graduating college, she had hopes of teaching children with developmental disabilities, a career choice that perfectly aligned with who she was as a person; a profession that truly showcased her passion for changing the world.
Since Randi’s tragic passing, I have constantly been seeking out ways to honor her memory but have struggled with the type of channel for which to spread her message. The ah-ha moment finally hit me when I had the opportunity to watch last year’s Boston Marathon in person for the first time from mile 22. Seeing every person run with such passion and dedication towards achieving the goal they set out for their cause, made me become overwhelmed with excitement. Thinking back on that day, I know Randi was somehow behind it all.
When researching ways to emulate Randi’s ideals and provide sponsorship to run the marathon, there was no organization that I could think of other than The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). With the help of AFSP, I’m running for Randi, those who have been affected by suicide and those currently searching for hope. This amazing national organization is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to all those impacted by suicide. More specifically, AFSP helps raise funds for programming, research, prevention education, advocacy and survivor support.
We always say that Randi died to teach us all about ourselves and the meaning of life. She made a lasting impact on so many lives in her short 22 years of life. I’m hoping that by running the marathon, I can be my cousin for a day and act as the shining light that she was for so many.
So please graciously consider helping my cause by donating to AFSP. Randi was going to change the world and with your help, she can continue to have a lasting impact on the world, just as we know she would have.
Thank you kindly!
Venmo @Eric-Peary or Click Donate
**You can follow our journey to Boston 2020 through sharing this page, following @Run_for_Randi on Instagram or Eric Peary on Facebook. Also you can help spread awareness by tagging #randisactsofkindness on your social media accounts. Lastly, if you ever want to get in touch with me directly, you can email me at email@example.com**