To All The Supporters Of Amanda StreamTweet
Our yRun Story
I am a physician currently in my fellowship training for critical care medicine. This means that I take care of critically ill patients in the intensive care unit on a regular basis. Every patient is unique but many of them improve and are ultimately discharged from the hospital. Most of them continue to have chronic medical problems but I can honestly say I almost never ask them about depression.
My brother, Eric is an intelligent, loving, and physically healthy young man. We grew up in a simple, but loving and supportive home and we both maintain close friendships from our childhood as neither of us have ended up far from home. Many of my family members have struggled with clinical depression including my brother whose battle has been significant and recently complicated by the loss of one of his childhood best friends, Pat, to suicide. Pat never made it to the ICU and I never asked him about depression.
Some Words About Eric & Our Friends
My brother is a loyal friend whose ability to see the best in others far exceeds his ability to see the best in himself. He never let the fact that he carried an inhaler for asthma slow him down in baseball or bike riding and he never gloated about always getting the top score on high school physics exams. When he left for college to study engineering he never forgot his friends at home. He never passed judgement or passed up the chance to help a troubled friend. When school was temporarily interrupted due to struggles with depression, he worked to maintain the composure his friends knew him so well for. Last June, Eric and his friend Pat attended the funeral of a young friend, Shannon who lost her life to suicide. Pat had recently became a father. Two months later, Pat took his own life. He was 29. Eric could not have predicted Pat’s death as he too worked to keep the strong and “happy-go-lucky” appearance we all knew him for. This year my brother is attending his second funeral and I am attending my first.
I can tell you how to treat a heart attack, pneumonia and kidney failure but the only treatment for suicide is prevention. I learned a pneumonic for the diagnosis of depression in medical school, but I can count on one hand how many times I have asked those questions of friends or family. Maybe that is because I have not found the right opportunities or because my emotional involvement leaves me fearful of the answers I might receive. Either way, I am extremely grateful to have my brother with me today and hopeful that he can build strength through this experience and that we can work together to promote suicide awareness among our friends and family as well as the courage to ask the right questions in attempts to prevent it.
Why Do I Run?
I started running to relieve some of my own stresses and feelings of depression. I ran my first half marathon three years ago and my first full marathon one year ago. Running has helped to keep me both mentally and physically healthy and I would like to pass the benefits I have received on to others like my brother and like Pat and Shannon. I occasionally treat patients who attempt suicide in the intensive care unit but I am a better doctor, friend, and sister by working to prevent it. I am running to raise money for the University of Colorado Depression Center and more importantly to encourage awareness and suicide prevention in our community.
This fall I am running the Healdsburg Wine Country Marathon where I spent my last family vacation with my brother Eric, my sister Bernadette, and my mom Denise. We all would like to honor Patrick, Shannon and the many other young people who are lost each year to suicide.
How can you help?
The primary goal of yRun is to help individuals raise awareness and financial support for a cause close to them. On Oct 16, 2011 I will be running Wine Country Marathon in Healdsburg, CA. To honor my brother Eric and his friends, Pat and Shannon. I am asking for any sized donations to be made towards the University of Colorado Depression Center.
Whether you can make a donation of $5 or $100, every dollar raised will go towards depression awareness and suicide prevention. In addition, an anonymous donor has come forward and will be matching all donations. If you cannot make a financial donation, I still appreciate your support so feel free to leave my friends and family some encouraging words on our yRun page direclty below. Thank you!
yRunner Amanda Stream