While the act of suicide seems like a very personal and sad decision, such a choice can have a huge impact on that person’s family. Former NHL defenseman Luke Richardson’s family was devastated by the death of 14-year-old daughter Daron in November, but they are trying to raise awareness regarding the issue by running a “Do it for Daron” campaign.
Next Tuesday, February 8th will mark a big day for that campaign, as Alan Adams of NHL Fanhouse reports that the group’s first annual Do it For Daron Purple Pledge day will take place. Adams writes that Richardson hopes to raise money and awareness to treat mental health issues that might lead to suicides.
Richardson himself donated $100,000 to the cause, matching the impressive amount reportedly generated by Daron’s high school friends.
“At that very tragic time in November we made the decision to speak publicly about suicide because we wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives,” Richardson told reporters. “We want to be honest in the hopes we can help another family avoid the loss of someone special to them.”
Richardson said his family’s own lack of knowledge “put us in this path of disbelief, sorrow and despair.”
Richardson also appealed to parents, coaches, teachers and friends to reach out to someone on Feb. 8 and talk about depression, mental health and suicide.
“We have an opportunity to be a model for other cities and communities,” Richardson said. “We need to change the culture of this topic and make it OK to speak about mental health and suicide.”
To learn more about the “D.I.F.D.” campaign, visit the Web site.
(Photo via NHL Fanhouse and Getty Images.)
A tragic moment underscored the trivial nature of hockey on Friday, as Luke Richardson’s 14-year-old daughter Daron committed suicide.
It’s obvious that the moment was devastating, but the Richardson family hopes to wring a few positives out of a tragic situation. For one thing, The Canadian Press reports that the family decided to donate Daron’s organs to help others live. Apparently four different people benefited from that decision.
Moving further, the family used their daughter’s death to increase awareness of teenage suicide. They were courageously open about the details of their daughter’s death and decided to make the funeral public.
The public ceremony drew a crowd of about 5,600, including more than 100 NHL alumni, to the suburban hockey rink on a blustery, wet weekday morning,
Richardson is a former defenceman who played 21 seasons in the NHL with six different teams and those grieving with the family included Paul Coffey, Shayne Corson, Wendel Clark, Doug Gilmour, Ron Hextall, Bill Ranford and a host of other former NHL stars. A teary Garry Galley was the master of ceremonies.
The entire Senators hockey club abbreviated a four-game road trip to return home for the ceremony and flew out immediately afterward for a game Wednesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes.
For video of the ceremony, click here. The CP reports that people make donations to the Royal Ottawa Health Foundation’s Youth Program rather than sending forwards in honor of Daron.
Horrible news out of Ottawa tonight: Daron Richardson died after being rushed to the hospital on Friday night. Daron was the 14-year-old daughter of former player and Senators assistant coach Luke Richardson.
Here is more information about the awful situation from the Associated Press.
Daron Richardson, 14, was rushed to the hospital Friday, the Senators said in a statement.
“There was an accident at their home (Friday) and Daron tried to take her life by hanging,” the statement read. “Her mother found her in the basement, and Daron was rushed to the hospital by ambulance where she remained in critical condition in ICU until she succumbed to her injuries.”
Luke Richardson played 21 seasons in the NHL with Toronto, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Columbus, Tampa Bay and Ottawa. He retired in 2008, finishing with 35 goals and 166 assists in 1,417 games.
Our hearts go out to Luke and his family on what must be a very difficult night.