With permission, we reprint a heartfelt message from our founder David Harris about the loss of his son and the inspriring promise of hope for those who wish to help prevent more teen suicides and reduce the stigma of mental illness:
“It was 12 years ago on February 14 that I lost my son Cameron to suicide. There has been much change in my life this year…change in career…starting a new business, my son Jeremy got engaged and another two marathons completed. There have been some really tough times emotionally that has changed the way I see things yet again. You see my New Year begins on Feb 14th. This day in 2005 my life would never be the same again, it was the day I felt my life was over.
A large part of me died that day …with my son. Feb 14th for many years after was a day of deep unbearable sadness. So what has changed? I now know I can make it through today, I know because of this day CameronHelps and our Team Unbreakable Run Program was created. I know that if I can survive the loss of a child to suicide I can survive anything, I know that you only have one life live and you have to try in your own way to make the best of it. So I will continue to try and live a life of hope and gratitude.
Feb 14th is still incredibly hard, I miss my son so so much and more today then others, but this tragic event will not make me weaker, it will make me stronger. It is my New Year, my new beginning, time of sadness yes, but also a time of reflection and hope for a better tomorrow. We all have choices in life and those experiences good or bad change our reality.
My life has had its share of tragedy, mistakes, disappointment, loss and regrets but it has also been filled many good things which continue to shape the tapestry of my life. So Happy New Year everyone….Live, Love, Learn and Leave a legacy.”