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Walkers step up to help prevent suicide

They weren’t exactly nightmares that 30-year-old Michelle Corder had after her mother committed suicide.

The dreams were good — her mother was alive, she was coming home from a shopping trip or some other errand.

The nightmares happened when Corder woke up and realized that the suicide was real and her mother, Mary Peabody, was dead.

Corder, of Federal Way, was out with her boyfriend on July 5, 1999, when her mother killed herself in the garage by carbon monoxide poisoning. She first knew something was wrong when she noticed several missed calls on her cell phone from the house. She called back and a strange voice answered.

“They said that this was the police department answering for the Peabodys and I needed to come home,” Corder said.

Corder learned that emergency responders were performing CPR on her mother. She rushed home and saw the street lined with police cars and ambulances. She remembers screaming and falling to the ground when she learned her mother was dead.

Corder still can’t recall seeing any warning signs.

“She was just the happiest person on the planet. I never would have seen this happening, ever,” she said.

Corder was one of nearly 1,000 people who converged on Seattle over the weekend for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Walk. The walk aimed to raise money for suicide prevention research, education, survivor support programs and to fund a Puget Sound area chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Participants walked 20 miles throughout the night and into the wee morning hours.

Many participants, like 34-year-old Wren Mosley of Federal Way, trained for more than a month before the event. Mosley trained by walking 2.5-mile loops around Browns Point. She bought new shoes for the event.

“I bought insoles and everything,” she said.

Mosley participated in the walk with her mother-in-law to honor her husband’s aunt, who committed suicide in 2005.

Every 16 minutes, a person in the United States dies from suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Kelly Fox of Federal Way said he participated in the walk to try to prevent some of those deaths. Fox’s wife suffers from depression, and he worries about how that will affect his young daughter.

“I want my daughter to grow up and never have to feel any of the pain or any of the problems that are associated with depression,” Fox said. “I want her to grow up being healthy and loving life.”

The walk in Seattle raised $1.2 million, said Wylie Tene, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention spokesman. The best way to prevent suicide is through early detection and treatment of depression, he said.

For more information, visit www.afsp.org.

Contact Margo Hoffman: mhoffman@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

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