Damillion’s Run for HOPE

Third annual 5k brings awareness to suicide prevention


Courtesy photo

In the last two years about 45,000 people in the U.S. died by suicide. September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness month. A student at Eaton High School, Maddie Chavez (23), lost her brother, Damillion Jaize Chavez on Oct. 14, 2019 due to suicide. Her family created a website to remember her brother, and to bring awareness and provide support to those who may struggle with their mental health. Chavez said, “Our hopes and goals when we created the Damillion Jaize Legacy Foundation was to carry on my brother’s memory and to raise awareness for suicide.” 

On Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, Damillion’s family had an event to raise money and remember him. Damillion’s Run for HOPE was a free event for anyone to participate in. Chavez plays volleyball for Eaton High School and a group of her teammates went out to support her and her family at the run. Ainslie Ross (23) said, “I think that overall it was a very beneficial thing and there’s no harm in going to support someone like that. I could tell it mattered to them that we were there.”  Chavez said, “One of our goals with the run was to raise $2,000 that would be used for scholarships for graduating seniors. More importantly, my family wanted people to complete the 5k for D (Damillion), themselves, or someone they love.” They ended up raising $5,975 by 58 donors. By giving donations and participating in the run, it helps Damillion’s family remember that they are loved and supported by their community, family and friends, while also bringing awareness to suicide.