Kaleb and Banks were sitting on the back of the bus, making jokes about being off weight and looking forward to the day. “I thought those days would never end. Kaleb Wright was one of my best friends and committed suicide.”
When Banks was a sophomore, befriended Kaleb, the senior superstar on the wrestling team. Kaleb was a role model, always present, funny, and supportive. But underneath the joyful, outgoing persona, Kaleb was severely struggling. Even as one of his closest friends and teammates, Banks had no idea of Kaleb’s pain – nor did anyone else.
“When you go to school every day and see your best friend and then he’s not there, it’s like a piece of you is gone.”
After Kaleb passed, Banks and a group of his friends attended the Walk for Hope in Kaleb’s honor, carrying his senior banner, and he has continued to walk almost every year since. Banks is on a mission to help other struggling teens, especially young men, by speaking up, raising awareness to eliminate stigma, and supporting life-saving research.