5K serves as catalyst for awareness to suicide prevention
Pictures from Makenzie Pegram’s Facebook page show a typical smiling teenager, but she admits they were covering up her struggles with suicide.
"My first suicidal thought was in 6th grade," she told Local 6’s Robert Bradfield.
Those thoughts continued for almost eight years. She said they were brought on by personal family issues. She downed alcohol, pills and drugs. "Five times. Two times almost got me," she recalled.
She even remembers time in the hospital with her brother by her side. "I see my little brother who, the first time they visited me in the hospital, he couldn’t look at me because he was crying so hard," Pegram said.
Now, she focuses on positive goals including running. She knows though her finish line could have come much sooner. Every day in the US, 105 people commit suicide and it’s a thought not lost on 5K organizer Meagan Pickett. "It just starts to hit home. It’s important and we really need to do something," Pickett told Local 6..
She said the run is a chance for families to understand the affects of suicide. "It adds education with something that everybody can enjoy and I figured it was the best choice of us to start making a difference," said Pickett.
Pegram is sharing her story with the hope others can make the right choice, too. "Really think about who it would hurt in the long run because it’s not a way out."