Thirty years ago, my mom was Thad Eure’s secretary, and we were part of the very first Walk.
It was very small; I would say there were less than 500 people that showed up, and it was mostly the staff of the Angus Barn.
Last year, we ended up losing my brother. He took his life. He had been depressed for about 10 years, off and on; we just never thought he would actually do anything.
My first Walk [after his death] was very emotional. I felt like it wasn’t enough. I feel like it’s never gonna get easier, and as soon as I feel like I’m done crying about it, I realize I’m not. It’s a new sense of loss, and the most painful loss that I’ve ever experienced.
I named my Walk team “Team Swallowtail” because when I first lost my brother, I kept seeing swallowtail butterflies. That’s how I acknowledge that he’s around. Last year, our first year, we raised over $1,000; our goal was $500.
I would tell first-time walkers that every penny counts and every penny stays in this community. We’re helping local friends and family who suffered from this in Raleigh and Wake County. Don’t think you can’t do enough, because it all adds up.