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In this section we will be posting the thoughts and reflections of the members of the Tommy Fuss Team.

Why I Walk

This is my first year participating in the Overnight walk. I am excited to take part in what I anticipate to be a moving and healing event. I walk with the Tommy Fuss Team to honor Tommy and his 17 years. I walk to raise money for the AFSP. Funding research is an essential part of treating mental illness and preventing suicide.

I walk to support amazing and strong individuals who have chosen to turn their personal tragedies into love and compassion for others, offering a guiding light out of the darkness.

Pam Courtney

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Why I Walk

I walk for my friend Tommy and I walk for myself. I know that Tommy is up there watching over me, and so, I walk to show him that I still think of him every day. I walk because he couldn't. Because of the walk, I am aware of how many people suffer from thoughts of depression and suicide everyday. I want others to be aware of this and hope that someday we can all work to chip away at this number. Doing the Overnight was a way for me to deal with some of my emotions after Tommy passed away. He was not alone in his struggling, and we, are not alone hereafter. There are so many people, so many stories, and while it will be hard for them to all be heard, the walk is a chance to begin sharing.

Deirdre McCourt

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On what might have been Tommy's 21st birthday, I offer a remembrance:

 

 

21 Reasons Why I Walk

01. Because Tommy is so alive in my mind and in my heart;

02. To honor and remember Tommy;

03. To raise awareness about mental illness;

04.  To educate others that mental illness is a disease;

05.  To remove the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide;

06.  To encourage people to seek help for themselves, a loved one or a friend;

07.  To raise funds for important research and programs;

08.  To prevent the loss of another precious, promising young adult to suicide;

09.  To prevent another family from suffering such a tragic loss;

10.  Because Tommy enjoyed the outdoors and walking brings me closer to him;

11.  Because walking makes me stronger both physically and emotionally;

12.  Because walking is a form of meditation;

13.  Because walking from dusk till dawn, surrounded by friends with a common goal, XXXis an incredibly empowering experience;

14.  Because it allows me to share something special with Tommy’s friends and family;

15.  To live Tommy’s legacy of friendship;

16.  Because I am not ashamed of how Tommy died;

17.  Because I am disheartened by our inability to achieve early diagnosis, XXXby the lack of targeted interventions, and by the inadequate number of hospital beds XXXfor our children in crisis;

18.  To recognize that while there remain obstacles to overcome, treatments are available;

19.  To turn our personal tragedy into a positive force;

20.  To send the message that it is urgent and important for all of us to take mental illness XXXseriously; and

21.  I have a HOPE and a DREAM that we will cure mental illness and prevent suicideThis is a leading hack.This is a leading hack.This is a leading hack.This is a leading hack.This is a leading hack.This is a leadingg 

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RoseMary Fuss

Tommy's mom

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Dear Friend,

Again this year, I will be walking to shed light on the issues of mental issues and suicide. I am very proud of how our team has grown! When I first heard about the walk early in 2007 and decided to walk, I thought I might have to walk alone; I never thought anyone would walk 20 miles throughout the night with me and I certainly never thought I’d raise my first $1,000! I guess I was wrong. Over the past three years more than 30 family and friends have participated and The Tommy Fuss Team has raised nearly $60,000!

For many years, I kept a secret. Very few people knew that I lived with bipolar disorder. However, after losing my cousin, Tommy, to suicide, and making t

he decision to walk in his memory, I decided I couldn’t do this walk and keep my own disease a secret. So. I came forward with my story and was shocked by the acceptance I received. I hope that I touched a few people with my honesty and maybe helped a few who were also keeping their disease in the dark for fear of how they would be perceived. Mental illnesses are things that are rarely talked about. It’s easy to raise money for cancer or other diseases because people are not afraid to talk about them. My goal is to make it easy and acceptable to talk about mental illness and suicide. We can’t fight something that we keep in the dark!

I am asking you to support me in my journey, helping me to raise awareness and funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Sincerely, Kristin Quigley March, 2008

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