The Life and Times of Dan Dragich (1984 – 2014)

Yesterday I got a message from a woman on Break the Stigma Project messages. She was asking me if there are any runs (5Ks) or walks for Mental Health awareness. Her son committed suicide earlier this month. He had struggled with depression for years, he thought that he could “fix” it on his own by drinking alcohol (sounds very familiar to me).

After communicating a little more through messages with her, I realized that she was the other runner I ran into yesterday morning at Salem Hills Park. I only had one more Break the Stigma flyer in my car and decided to tuck it in the car next to mine. It was her car! We agreed to meet and talk today.

Today, I met with Faye, she is the person who sent me a message yesterday and her son committed suicide just less than 20 days ago. What an incredible mother. She wants to join in forces and help us bring down the Stigma and help others struggling with mental health issues, just like her son was. Her story really touched me deep inside. But, instead of any negativity, I felt such an incredible positivity coming from her (of course we both are sad for the loss of her son). She wants to help others to make better choices and avoid the pain of losing a loved one, just like she and I have experienced in our lives.

We are going to plan a 5k walk to honor those who have gone too soon, and her son’s legacy. His name is Dan.

Stay tuned for a date very soon.

Also Faye has been kind enough to share a video of her son’s tribute. He was a musician and it seems like a great songwriter as well. This is the video: