In co-ordination with the YK Lifesavers and the wonderfully giving Bev Hoffman Drew’s Foundation is sponsoring free swim night for high school age kids at the YK Fitness Center. We are glad to be able to help with this program and to support this beautiful facility. Many thanks to Bev for her tireless advocacy and work in getting the people of Bethel this great place to go when it -25. Even above zero its wonderful. Dates will be announced- Stay tuned!
First, to followers of Drews’s Foundation, I offer my apologies for my lack of posts and lack of information on the website for the past 7-8 months.
A year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I spent the better part of 2016 being treated and recovering from, not only the cancer, but the treatment. Fortunately, I did not have to do chemotherapy but I did 3 months of radiation treatment and it is not kind. I spent many days during treatment and post treatment wondering if the results and the side effects were worth it. There were times when i felt I couldn’t stand it any more, when I wanted to quit and give up.
I was away from my family, I was sick, I was depressed, I was scared, and at many times I thought that I was a burden to those that love me. I consider myself a strong person but I was ready to give up at times. At some point I said to myself, “This is what you talk about and preach to young people all the time. How can you give up?”
In that moment it became clear to me how suicide can become an option. I had people that loved me, I had a good and successful life. i had good Doctors and medical care, I had things to look forward to. I also had the physical pain of cancer and treatment, the pain of loss, the pain of depression and all the other problems that come with depression. It was a tug of war and I stretched both directions for too long.
Ultimately, the love of my family and my love for my family were the reasons I needed to just keep going, to not give up. I get stronger every day and the little joys I had trouble finding a few months ago are more frequent. The smiles on my daughters faces, joking with my son, kind words from my wife, laughter with friends-THESE ARE THINGS WORTH LIVING FOR. Life is not always great but it can always get better. More now than ever I believe in never giving up.
As a family we still miss Drew every day. Some days I feel like it was yesterday when we lost him and the emotion floods to the top and runs its course. I look at one of the pictures hanging on the wall, with his beautiful smile and I wish he were still here. I wish that he had thought about how much we loved him. I wish things were different, but of course they will never be the same.
There is great redemption in love, in giving it and in receiving it. Be kind and thoughtful. Speak good words to people. Accept love in whatever form you can find it and never ever give up.
Drews Foundation was able to send two young men to wrestling camp again this past summer. Sven Williams and Jarius Allain attended a two week camp in California in late July. Both young men gained experience and more importantly self confidence and positive mental attitudes. This is the third year that Drew’s Foundation has sponsored young people for this great event.
It’s hard to believe that it has been 6 years since our first Walk for Life. It was a little chilly, but supporters gathered to promote awareness and show support for those affected by suicide. Along with a 5K run, the event is held annually on the first Saturday of May starting at the Cultural Center parking lot and ending at the riverfront park with a hotdog roast. Thank you to everyone who participated.
Saturday May 7th is the date for our 6th annual Walk for Life. This is a community wellness walk and a 5K fun run. Starting at 11 am at the Cultural Center, continuing thru City Sub and returning to Lions Club Park, the event will repeat the route taken the last several years. The run route will be identical or similar to last year. I encourage everyone to come out to walk or run and support our prevention and awareness efforts. Water bottles for participants and hopefully a get together at the Park afterward.
Many thanks to my daughter Haley, her wonderful Mother and Mr Avery Hoffman for setting up the PLACE OF MEMORY while I was in Anchorage dealing with medical issues. They did a great job and saved me so much worry and stress.
As in the past years the room was filled with spiritual energy and a strong aura of healing. Many people came in and sat, talked, shared, and reflected. It seems that each passing year more people want to talk and not just look. Hopefully this continues and the subject of suicide can remain a topic for discussion. The Place Of Memory is after all about remembering our loved ones lives and not their deaths.
Thanks to everyone that visited and especially to those who shared. Thanks to Linda Curda and the Cama-i organizers for giving me the opportunity to create this place of remembrance and healing.