Survivor of trauma and suicide shares her ‘Out of the Darkness’ experience in Lynchburg

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Saturday was a good morning to get out and enjoy a walk. That’s exactly what hundreds of people did in Lynchburg for the seventh annual “Out of The Darkness Walk.”

The nationwide event raises money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

Everyone who attended the walk on Saturday, Oct. 2 has their own story, whether it was loved ones who lost their battle with suicide or personal challenges. Some arrived just to show support.

(Photo: Amanda Lee/WFXR News)

Cassie Hairston was there for all three reasons, after witnessing the suicide of a boyfriend and her own attempt in 2017.

“It was at that moment that I thought to myself — what I went through is either going to make me, or it’s going to break me and I refused to let it break me,” said Hairston.

For Hairston, the toughest thing to do was to reach out for help. She ultimately found the strength to contact the AFSP and discovered the Lynchburg chapter, people nearby who understood her pain.

(Photo: Amanda Lee/WFXR News)

“I used my experience and what I went through, and how I currently felt to try and help others because I knew there had to be help out there for people like me,” said Hairston.

Standing strong today, she’s grateful for where that journey has taken her.

“I’m married now. I have a four-and-a-half-month-old daughter,” said Hairston. “Life is beautiful.”

(Photo: Amanda Lee/WFXR News)

The Lynchburg chapter had 74 teams sign up for this weekend. Together, they raised nearly $60,000 towards suicide prevention efforts.

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