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In the summer of 2016, we lost our best friend and brother Warren to suicide. There are no words in any language that can describe how devastating it is to receive that news. Even more heartbreaking was, those of us closest to Warren had no idea he had even been contemplating suicide.
Simply put, Warren was the best. He was funny, adventurous, brave, intelligent and above all else, he was kind. Trying to come to terms with the fact that he had been struggling so much and hiding it from all of us has been unimaginable. Warren was an accomplished ironman, triathlete and marathon runner and in the aftermath of losing him we wanted to find a way to honour his memory, but also help others. So, last year we began running the RUN4HOPE BMO Vancouver Marathon in relay teams named Warren’s Warriors to raise money on behalf of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).
This year, our team has expanded to include friends who sadly have also experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide. One of our teammates will be running in honour of her niece Adina, who passed away November 2017 at the age of 17. One of our other teammates will be running in memory of her brother.
The branch of the CMHA we are fundraising for provides services specializing in child and youth programs. It also connects at risk individuals with resources and services, provides training sessions targeted specifically at suicide reduction and helps individuals recognize the signs of someone who is exhibiting suicidal behaviours or tendencies. The CMHA also actively works to encourage individuals to speak about mental health and remove stigmas associated with mental health within our community.
While our hearts are forever broken, through our efforts to raise awareness, if we are able to reach even one person, we will have been able to make something positive come from the tragedies of losing our brothers, niece and friend.
Thank you for supporting us! We appreciate you more than you know.