| Home

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Boston odyssey to honor memory of Wexford man

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By Bill Zlatos
Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rob Fadzen III of Wexford took his life five years ago, and his family has been trying to make sense of his death ever since.

"It's been an emotional roller-coaster," said his brother, Jon Fadzen, 32, of Green Tree. "One day, you're remembering everything you've done together, and the next day, you're completely miserable."

To honor his brother, Fadzen and his cousin, Lisa Taylor, hope to raise about $3,500 by taking part in "Out of the Darkness Overnight," an 18-mile walk June 26 and 27 in Boston to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

"From the minute I saw it, I knew I wanted to do it with him, and I wouldn't let him do it alone," said Taylor, 32, of Beechview. "I wanted to stand beside him on that journey."

Rob Fadzen, a former police officer for the city Housing Authority, died at age 30. He loved camping, fishing and playing ice hockey.

"What surprised me about it was I always saw him as somebody who loved life so much," Taylor said. "Even the little things seemed important to him, so to see him choose to leave that was difficult to understand."

Why it happens

According to the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control, in 2006, suicide claimed the lives of 33,000 Americans.

Ninety percent of people who commit suicide have an underlying mental disorder, such as depression, substance abuse, anxiety or bipolar disorder, said Bob Gebbia, executive director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

"We're all concerned because there is a relationship between depression and suicide, and if people have lost their homes, their work, that could certainly lead them understandably to being depressed," Gebbia said.

Fadzen said his brother was on medication for attention deficit disorder.

Gebbia's group has sponsored the overnight walk since 2002. He expects 2,000 walkers and volunteers this year. He estimates they will raise about $1 million for suicide research, education programs for schools and colleges, and support for families who have lost loved ones.

About two-thirds of those walking in the event have lost someone to suicide, Gebbia said.

"It's a club nobody wants to be in," Taylor said.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Founder of Z&M Cycle Sales in Hempfield killed in Florida motorcycle crash
  2. Starkey: Tomlin lived in his fears
  3. Increasing player salaries pinch financial flexibility of Pirates
  4. Slain St. Clair officer walked into ‘worst nightmare’ for police
  5. No. 11 Purdue presents tall order for Pitt
  6. Steelers receiver Wheaton takes advantage of opportunity in breakout game
  7. Penguins’ reshuffled top line of Crosby, Dupuis, Kunitz looks familiar
  8. Film session: Long shots dotted Steelers’ passing game
  9. 2,200 union employees of ATI lose coverage
  10. 7 percent in Allegheny County able to carry concealed gun
  11. Pa. Supreme Court: Highmark Medicare Advantage members to retain access to UPMC