Happy #warriorwednesday! We are continuing our countdown to the Warrior Run race day with another #whywerun story from Team Family Love Michael.
On October 6, 2016, I lost my brother to a years-long battle with depression, anxiety, and addiction. Because of this, my husband and our two sons ran the 5K last year. Since Michael’s passing anniversary date is always close to race day, we love getting our family and friends together to joyfully celebrate his life while allowing for our sadness to exist. It only seems fitting that on October 5th, 2019 my family and our friends all join together to STOP the STIGMA that surrounds mental health and prevents so many from seeking the help that is available.
While heroin might be the cause of death for my brother, the true root of his addiction began when he was self-medicating to numb the pain of his mental illness; Mike was not alone with his mental illness–1 in 5 adults and teens suffer from a mental illness.
On Saturday, October 5th, you will see my family and friends sporting black and red t-shirts–as my brother was attending, and loved, The University of Utah when he passed–as we RACE FOR LIFE. Our friends that cannot join us have donated to our family team, Family Love Michael and we are so grateful for their generosity. We will be celebrating Mike’s life on Saturday and making sure his memory lives on by helping fund mental health education programs, which he would have benefited from so much during his middle and high school years. We believe that if mental health screens, education, and resiliency programs were being taught during his formative years, we could have gotten ahead of his mental illnesses and gotten him into treatment sooner.
This is #whywerun. We run for those we have lost and to tell the world you are not alone. You are not weird. You are just 1 in 5.
Register for the Warrior Run 5k Run or 1 Mile Walk here! Even if you can’t make it for race day, you can still support a team’s fundraising efforts to put mental health and suicide prevention programs into local schools OR you can register as a virtual runner!