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Leah Walk raises awareness for mental health

Thanksgiving is only a week away, a day for family and friends to come together and reflect on the wonderful blessings in their lives.
On Sunday, Dec. 1, the family of Leah Radulescu and Illinois State University’s RSO To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is hosting a walk to bring the campus together and recognize how blessed we truly are. This walk is in remembrance of Leah. The walk is being used as a chance to raise awareness for mental health.
Katelyn Bright, historian of TWLOHA and overall coordinator of the walk, says that Leah’s mother schedules this event annually in the cold fall season for a meaningful purpose.
“The reason she has the walk on the weekend after Thanksgiving is to bring the message of Thanksgiving to the walk; to just be thankful for what you have, your friends and family, and just have some of a reflection time,” said Bright.
Bright also mentions the irony of celebrating a day dedicated to giving thanks for all that one is blessed with, which is then followed by Black Friday. Black Friday is when people of all ages go shopping and race for bargains during all hours of the day and night. It could be defined as the greediest day of the year. The event is also scheduled on the Sunday after Black Friday to get people back to the feeling of Thanksgiving.
The starting time for the walk is at 3 p.m., giving students time to settle in after a nice week off from fall break. The starting point will be at University High School on Gregory Street and then the walkers will take a two-mile march together down Constitution Trail.
The Leah Walk is asking for a minimum donation of $5 per person. The proceeds will be donated to the local chapter of the American Foundation of Suicide Foundation, a national organization. If one cannot make it to the walk, donating to the cause is still possible. By going to www.LeahWalk.com, one can sign up to donate to support the efforts of suicide preventions.
Not only does this website allow one to register to participate, but it shares Leah’s story and gives others the chance to relay stories of their own.
“I think whenever we can bring up a subject like this it just makes it so much easier for someone to be able to open up about it, and it’s nice if we can have a group of people sort of unify over a subject like this,” said Bright.
Acknowledge the importance of mental health one step at a time by coming together with the community and participating in the Leah Walk on Sunday, Dec. 1.

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