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Now that I have your attention, I have something to tell you about.

As quite a lot of authors do, I have Google Alerts set up for my name, my novel titles, etc…just so that I can get a heads up whenever anything hits the internet. It’s a great way to discover reviews that I might not otherwise find out about.

The thing is, my name is SO wildly popular that I get alerts almost daily. Of those who carry my name, there is a police officer, a couple criminals, a sports person who has something to do with tennis, an underwear/swimsuit model, an American writer I would rather not draw attention to, and many more. Who knew Kevin Craig was such a popular name sequence.

This week, my Google alerts were filled with a new Kevin Craig character. This one is from the United States. Paris, Illinois, to be exact. His story has left me thinking about him all week long. It’s so incredibly sad and, through the legacy his family is attempting to create in his name, so incredibly moving and inspirational.

Kevin A. Craig

August 8, 1978 – January 29, 2016
Resided in Paris, IL

37 years. That’s far too young to die.

The reason my Google alerts have been so active in regards to this Kevin Craig, is that his family has set up a GoFundMe page to collect donations for a Memorial Scholarship set up in Kevin’s name. The purpose of the scholarship? See below for the text posted to the GoFundMe page:

Kevin Craig was a loving, fun, smart, sensitive and caring person who lost his struggle with depression when he took his own life in January 2016. His family and many friends in Paris, Illinois, are working to keep his memory alive and to prevent others from losing their own battles with mental illness and substance abuse through the Kevin Craig Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship will go to Paris High School students pursuing a degree in the mental health field. While an account has been set up at Paris First Bank – 600 East Jasper St., Paris, IL 61944 – online donations are also greatly appreciated. Please help us turn Kevin’s memory into an opportunity to bring counseling and mental health resources into a world that so desperately needs them. Thank you!

On January 29th, after a long struggle with depression, Kevin Craig took his own life. It’s always crushing for me to hear of a loss through suicide. As a survivor of childhood sexual trauma, I was very vulnerable to depression myself. I struggled for years. At 13, 14, 15, 16, 17—the idea that I would ever live to be an adult was almost laughable. I never in a million years imagined myself growing into adulthood. It just seemed an impossibility to me. But I did. For whatever reason, I survived. I made it through the most bleak and dark moments you could ever imagine. Depression is a silent killer because of the culture of shame that surrounds it and other types of mental illness. It is a disease that nobody wants to talk about. It is a disease that nobody wants to admit to having or being touched by.

What Kevin Craig’s family is doing to honour his life…I find it to me so courageous and heartwarming. I can’t imagine the pain they’re experiencing right now, having just lost their loved one. They’re standing up and saying, “NO MORE.” Whenever there is a voice added to the cause of depression–a light shined into the darkness of the disease–I feel the need to applaud the courageous light-keepers who hold the flame. They lost a beloved family member. In a culture that takes that loss privately and disguises it in lies and shame and secrets, the Craig family has chosen to celebrate their son, brother, father, grandson, uncle, cousin. Their compassion is overwhelming. In the face of their own loss, they wish to save others from the same pain.

So today I wanted to draw attention to the Kevin Craig Scholarship Fund. Kevin lost his battle with this insidious disease, but because of him and his family others may defeat it. I’m asking you to make a donation to the fund today…I’m sure any amount would be appreciated. This is your opportunity to help keep Kevin Craig’s spirit alive…to strengthen the legacy that his family is building in his name. If you have ever battled depression yourself, or knew someone who has, please consider this worthy cause. We need more people in the mental health field. We need more people fighting this illness. Please help the Craigs turn Kevin’s memory into an opportunity to bring counseling and mental health resources into a world that so desperately needs them.

Click on the screenshot below to be taken to the GoFundMe page for the Kevin Craig Memorial Fund. Make a difference in the battle against depression…

kcfund

 And PLEASE… share this post OR the Go Fund Me page itself. Some things deserve to go viral. Some things deserve to have a little light shone on them. No one stands alone…