By Samantha Joseph
MARTIN COUNTY - Local relatives of a 26-year-old man who committed suicide are turning their family's tragedy into a regional cause.
Rosemary Knight and her teenage daughter, Samantha, have organized a fundraiser to support suicide prevention, after a relative ended his own life last May.
The pair has planned a fundraiser called the Martin County "out of the darkness community walk" to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The event is set for Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Indian Riverside Park in Jensen Beach.
"We felt very strongly about it, wanted to raise awareness, raise some funds and get the word out," said Ms. Knight, whose sister married into the family of Danny Martinez, a Broward man who ended his life this year after a long and silent struggle with depression.
"There are so many stories about people committing suicide, even kids," she said.
Organizers are hoping to attract at least 100 walkers who will get sponsors for next month's walk in a bid to create awareness about suicide, and save tens of thousands who end their own lives each year across the nation.
"What I want is for people to see suicide and depression like they see cancer nowadays," said Marisol Martinez, whose son, Danny, committed suicide last May.
"Cancer used to be taboo. If you had it you hid it. But now, you see it, you recognize the signals and get help. That's where I hope we're getting with depression."
The family has created a message they're taking across the region, Ms. Martinez says she's raised about $10,000 for suicide prevention.
Next month's walk is the first of its kind in Martin County, with organizers saying they are passionate to remove the stigma associated with depression.
"The reason I've been involved is I want to bring awareness. The biggest disservice we do is there's no discussion," Ms. Knight said. "There's the impression that you can't suffer from depression. You can't talk about being suicidal because you're weak. There's just a big hush-hush. Suicide is 100 percent preventable."
For more information, call (772) 341-9439.