On October 12th 2013 I will be running in the Baltimore Under Armour Marathon. When I previously ran, I ran to stay healthy, but now I’m running in honor of my big brother Justin. On April 4th 2013 my family and I lost him to suicide; Justin battled with depression and alcohol that drove him into a dark place. He left behind a family with too many questions and not enough answers.
Growing up my brother and I had a unique relationship, he didn’t like me very much. Like all older siblings he picked on me and gave me the worst time. But as time passed our relationship blossomed into a beautiful friendship and we became closer with each passing year. Your sibling is more than a sister or brother, they are the first real friend you have in life and you treasure those relationships above all others.
After this tragic loss our world was forever changed and we are learning how to live again. I was never exposed to suicide growing up or even in school, and now it seems the word “suicide” is always on your mind. I’ve experienced people whispering and not talking to me because someone I love took their life by suicide. How are we going to prevent something when no one really knows anything about it? Or how do we educate people when they are hesitant to talk about it?
I now run with a purpose, to educate others about this illness and raise money for awareness and research to hopefully impact one person’s life to prevent them from going through what my family and I are going through. So, in October I will be running for Team Justin and my whole family and all my friends will be there. We will be wearing matching Team Justin shirts and I will run all 26.2 miles with my big brother’s spirit by my side.
All donations are tax deductible, for more information please visit the links below.
Thank you for all the love and support.
Run by my side; live in my heartbeat;
give strength to my steps.
As the cold surrounds, as the wind pushes me,
I know you surround me.
As the sun warms me, as the rain cleanses me,
I know you are touching me, challenging me, loving me.
And so I give you this run.
Thank you for matching my stride.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in our latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.