My beloved son, Jack, suffered from depression and took his own life at age 15. I am riding for Jack, in support of Children's Hospital Pediatric Mental Health Institute. In three weeks, on July 20 & 21, I will be pedaling 121 miles over two days for Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Courage Classic. What makes it even more special is that this will be my first Courage Classic and I am riding the very first team in the Courage Classic’s 30 year history to support pediatric mental health — the Psyched to Climb team!
Some of you know that since Jack's passing, I have gradually become involved with learning about and advocating for mental health issues, especially as it pertains to our youth. In Colorado, suicide is the leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24. Colorado also ranks 48th in accessibility to pediatric mental health services. Clearly, this has to change!
Jack was a enthusiastic lacrosse goalie of over ten years. If you know anything about lacrosse, it's that being a goalie takes an unbelievable amount of strength. Jack's altruism, empathy, and strength were evident in everything he did.
We cannot allow the bullying, both from adults and kids, to go on any longer. We must be there for each other and end the stigma around mental health and teen suicide together.
Together we are #JACKSTRONG
The Courage Classic is not only a personal challenge, but also an opportunity to support positive outcomes and healthier futures for children.