Kyra (pronounced Kira) and I started running 5K's about 5 years ago.... Kyra found the Walk For Hope, for suicide awareness, and we both knew IMMEDIATELY it was something we had to do. Depression, among a lot of other things are concerns a lot of people do not understand, And unfortunately I am very aware of the damaging effects mental illness and self medicating can cause, from personal experience. Back then, my family feared for me, deeply...
THIS YEAR, KYRA AND I ARE RUNNING FOR, AND DEDICATING OUR RUN TO A COUSIN OF MINE WHO LEFT US THIS PAST NOVEMBER. HIS NAME IS REGINALD "REGGIE" MCGRAW. HE WAS A 39yr OLD WHOM WAS LOVED BY MANY. WE WERE NOT LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE KNOWN ONE ANOTHER, BUT I KNOW HE IS A GREAT GUY BECAUSE HE HAS A LOT OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS THAT LOVE HIM DEARLY! AND I SAY HE "IS" A GREAT GUY AND NOT "WAS" BECAUSE HE'S STILL WITH US ALL, JUST IN SPIRIT (AND WITH JESUS). WHEN I RECEIVED THE CALL FROM MY MOTHER LETTING ME KNOW WHAT HAD HAPPENED, I THEN FELT THAT I KNEW HIM A LITTLE BECAUSE WE CLEARLY HAD SOME THINGS IN COMMON. I KNOW THE FEELINGS THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH TAKING YOUR OWN LIFE, AND I FEEL TERRIBLY THAT HE CHOSE TO LEAVE. I WISH THERE WERE SOMETHING I COULD SAY OR DO THAT WOULD HELP REGGIE'S SURVIVORS UNDERSTAND THAT NO ONE IS TO BLAME, NOT EVEN REGGIE. EVERYONE STRUGGLES DIFFERENTLY, AND I AM SO SORRY THAT HE HAD TO GO...
THE WALK FOR HOPE IS VERY HELPFUL FOR SURVIVORS! IT HAS A TON OF THINGS YOU CAN DO, AND LEARN! IT HAS A LOT OF VENDORS, LIVE MUSIC, GUEST SPEAKERS, SNACKS, DRINKS, QUILTS WITH PICTURES OF THOSE WHOM LEFT US, RAFFLES, THINGS FOR KIDS TO DO, AND THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR ANYTHING! IT'S NOT A HORRIBLY SAD EVENT AS IT MAY SEEM. IT IS VERY UPLIFTING, AND HELPFUL! YOU CAN MEET OTHERS SURVIVORS, OR JUST SPEND THE MORNING WITH YOUR OWN FAMILY. YOU CAN WALK, OR RUN THE 5K (AS KYRA AND I DO).
Kyra and I haven't raised a whole lot of money in the past 2 years that we have fund-raised, but we are not going to give up! Suicide Awareness is an important cause for us, and can be a touchy subject for a lot of people causing them to turn their heads when asked if they'd like to donate. I can assure anyone who donates, the money does not go to myself, Kyra, or anything other than raising awareness about suicide so hopefully, maybe, we can prevent more from happening, and help those who are survivors!
IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN POSSIBLY STARTING A TEAM IN 2018 (OR ANY TIME) KYRA AND I WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO BE A PART OF IT!
KYRA AND I USUALLY RUN A 5K IN 28-35 MINUTES, BUT THIS YEAR, IN OUR "RACE FOR REGGIE" WE ARE GOING TO TRY TO COMPLETE IN 24 MINUTES! MAYBE REG CAN HELP US ALONG!!!