In 2016 during Christmas break, severe anxiety seemed to hit our oldest child out of the blue. It paralyzed him from doing things he loved including even leaving the house. Looking back, we realized we missed some red flags about his anxiety and it was now staring us in the face. We felt as if our world was turned upside down and all we wanted to do was help him. Thankfully, through counseling and Doctors, we were able to get him the help he needed and today he has come out on the other side.
Fast forward to 2018, and it seemed as if we were in the twilight zone, this time with my youngest. He started to seem distant and many days he just didn't feel good but couldn't pinpoint what was wrong. He then explained to me how he had started losing interest in doing just about anything and then the anxiety attacks kept him too from wanting to leave our house. Ironically, he is our performer, our one who loves to make others happy by being on stage. To the outside world you would think nothing was wrong. Yet inside, he fights a battle every day against his own mind telling him he should be worried and afraid.
Our goal as a family is to spread the word that this can happen to any one at any age. It may seem to come out of the blue or maybe it's tied to a certain event. But just like my children, even though many may seem ok on the outside, they are dealing with so much conflict in their own head and heart. We want to help end the stigma attached to mental health issues and allow other kids to speak out and ask for help.
The Butterfly Run, presented by Big Lots, is a community fitness event to grow awareness, break stigmas, and raise funds for lifesaving pediatric behavioral health research at Nationwide Children's Hospital. More than just another 5K run and walk, The Butterfly Run is an event for anyone around the country to come together to advocate and improve outcomes for children living with mental illness. Invest in the future of children's mental health. Join me in this On Our Sleeves movement for children’s mental health.
All donations are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged by Nationwide Children’s Foundation.
On behalf of the patients and families of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and those kids that are fighting through mental illness, we thank you for your support!