Will Be Free 2 Dream: Spreading Awareness of Suicide

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(ABC 6 News) – Losing a child is one of the worst pains for a parent to overcome.

Carla Miller lost her son, Will, after he died by suicide last year. The Fridell Middle Schooler was a gifted student with an appetite for adventure. Especially if it involved sports like soccer, skateboarding, or skiing.

So Carla decided to keep her son’s kind and giving spirit alive by starting a fundraiser in his memory.

The 2nd annual ‘Will Be Free 2 Dream” fundraising event took over the Garden indoor skatepark in Rochester on Tuesday. The room was packed with Will’s family and friends. All to help a family trying to move past one of the worst moments of their life, and bring joy to others.

“Out of all of the grief we’ve been through this last year, it’s beautiful to see our community come together,” Carla Miller said. “It brings me so much joy.”

Carla is a mental health practitioner and she says it’s important to talk regularly with your children about ways to cope with their emotions. Even if you think they’re doing fine.

“Statistics say suicide rates go up amongst youth that has had a peer pass away by suicide,” Carla Miller said. “But that’s why we’re here, is to hopefully raise awareness and lower the stigma about mental illness and around suicide.”

The love for the Miller family was flowing out the door during tonight’s fundraiser. All the proceeds will go toward a group that was dear to Will’s heart, the Rochester Community Ed Youth Ski Club; Which he was a part of during the last four years of his life.

In their last fundraiser, they were able to raise enough to get six kids involved in the ski club. Carla hopes they can double that this time around and make ‘Will Be Free 2 Dream’ an annual celebration.