We lost our son, Tommy (Tom to his friends), on November 3, 2006 at the age of 17. Nearly 15 years later there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t feel the joy of his life and devastation of his loss. I did not know the depth of his inner most thoughts nor how much he was suffering. I was unable to help Tommy. I will never fully recover from his loss, but I am determined to prevent the loss of other precious lives. With the emotional support of family and friends and our passionate commitment to suicide prevention through our work with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) we are moving forward.
This is our 15th year participating in the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk. For 13 years we put together a great team of walkers and crew and initiated countless conversations to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide in our communities, raising awareness and funds for the important work of the AFSP. We would gather one night in June, walking through the night, from dusk until dawn – in Boston, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC or Philadelphia – with over a thousand others, bringing these issues “out of the darkness”.
The COVID pandemic may change how we participate in the Overnight Walk – 2021 being the second “virtual” Overnight -- but it does not change our commitment to suicide prevention through supporting the AFSP. The Tommy Fuss Team is committed to the mission of the AFSP to fund research, educational programs, advocacy, and support services. Dan and I have proudly made our annual donation and encourage you to join us. As you assess your philanthropic priorities, please consider supporting the AFSP to help save lives and bring hope to those affected by mental health conditions and suicide. No donation is too small to help make a difference. Consider $17 for the seventeen years Tommy blessed our lives, $24 for Tommy’s favorite television program, or $32 for the anniversary of his birth year.
We are forever grateful for your continued support. Together we are making a difference.
With love and gratitude,
I encourage you to use the AFSP website as a valuable resource. Here are some pages which may be of interest:
The facts on suicide statistics -- afsp.org/suicide-statistics/
Discover resources for mental health and COVID-19 -- afsp.org/mental-health-and-covid-19
Project 2025, a nationwide initiative to reduce the annual rate of suicide in the US 20% by 2025 -- project2025.afsp.org
Suicide Prevention Research Grants funded, in part, by your donations -- afsp.org/research-grants
Advise on how to talk with someone who may be struggling with their mental health or considering suicide -- afsp.org/when-someone-is-at-risk
Links to dedicated crisis services -- afsp.org/im-having-thoughts-of-suicide