Medals and Jersey
September 25, 2017
BENEFITING: Redgen Inc
EVENT DATE: Sep 17, 2017
When you can't run, you crawl, and when you can't crawl - when you can't do that... You find someone to carry you. In September 2017, Suicide Prevention Month, I will be competing in the OBX triathlon and carrying the name of one of my best friends with me.
On December 30th 2008 my life irrevocably changed and I didn't even know it. See, suicide has permeated my life for as long as I can remember including the first funeral I attended as a young boy. Over the years I have known many, maybe too many, people who have thought about, attempted or succeeded in taking their own lives. However, that day, that day will live with me forever.
After Christmas in 2008 Taylor told our friends he was leaving and going to pursue a different, better life. While we suspected what he had done, there was always hope. Then there wasn't. His body was found in late January nearly a month after he disappeared and took his own life.
The day after he was discovered I asked a friend why Taylor didn't tell me he was leaving, her response was "because you're the one person who could have stopped him." For 5 years I lived those days over and over... Never escaping the moment, never forgiving myself the guilt of not doing more. I don't know if I could have prevented it, but I know I didn't do enough to try.
It is nearly 8 years later and there is hardly a day that goes by that I don't think about him. The man, the father and the life long friend he should have been. Losing him changed everything. The pain has slowly abated and while the wound will never heal, scar tissue is at least forming.
When I run the Triathlons in September it will be to celebrate with friends the lives we have built and the relationships that have endured. But for me that life will always be intertwined with that day and the friend I lost. I am hoping we can raise money to stop someone from not only taking their own life, but taking the lives of those closest to them.
If there is someone you have lost and would like me to carry them as well please tell me their name and I will have it printed on my jersey for the race (no donation required). To have a name added please let me know by July 1, 2017.
My fundraiser is supporting REDgen, a Milwaukee based organization focused on youth mental health and suicide prevention.