The first Walk for Hope my wife and I did was in 2003. I had known of the Walk since moving here in 1993, but in 2003 my step-daughter was having issues, including a stay at a mental hospital—she would eventually be diagnosed with borderline [personality disorder]. It was a one and done for us at that point.
Then 2010 ended the worst three-year period in our lives. During that time, we had four friends bury children. Three were due to mental illness.
I approached the family of one of the children who died and asked if they had ever heard of the Walk for Hope. Shockingly, they had not. I asked if it would be all right to form a team in their son’s honor. They agreed, and that is how Team Michael Carpenter started.
Our team is proud of how much money we raised for this organization. I see the Walk as part of my friend’s healing experience—it has become an event to get together to honor his son on the second weekend in October (we have a team dinner on Friday and walk on Sunday).
Our team has people come from multiple states and now we span three generations of walkers! This team will go on as long as there is a Walk.