Every now and then you get struck by people making a difference out in the world. In our guest blog, that difference is being made by a High School student who took his grief over the loss of a friend from suicide and channeled it into a way to help others. Enjoy!
My friend Koby Stevens died by suicide on April 9, 2015. The goal of Koby’s Cause is to spread suicide awareness through the sport lacrosse around the world. This allows us to give underprivileged kids an opportunity to embrace a sport, hear our message about Koby, his failed open adoption, his abandonment issues and ultimately his hidden depression.
Who was Koby? Well he was a 6’1 blonde, hair blue eyed,confident guy who was gifted athletically, academically, and grew up in church. I spent endless homeschool days with his family, summers hiking Colorado, winters skiing, Pokemonbattles, nerf wars and long days at the local creek conquering the world. Koby doesn’t sound like your ‘profile’ for suicide, right? I learned there is no profile when it comes to suicide. He was loved by his adopted family and lived a big life. Yet he let lies of depression get twisted in his mind and that stole his life.
I visited the Dominican Republic on a mission trip where I saw a need for sports in the lives of the youth living on settlements. When we return, we will partner with a local church and school program. We will start their first lacrosse program by giving the kids much more than just a sports team; we will be giving them a positive outlet for their time and the opportunity to play an amazing sport. Without Koby’s Cause, they would otherwise never have the opportunity to learn or play lacrosse. Koby’s dad, Tim Stevens, will join us and share his testimony about losing his son. For me it gives hope that Koby’s life is remembered for all the good he had in him, for the love he had of sports and his hard work ethic to outwork but also lift up others!
When I began Koby’s Cause I was just collecting equipment from my friends and teammates but the entrepreneur in me said GO BIG! I started cold calling CEO’s pitching Koby’s Cause to them and many decided that Koby’s Cause would be a something they would want their companies name on and this was essential in spreading the game of lacrosse worldwide. To mention a few the Lacrosse Network featured Koby’s cause on their weekly watch episode for more than 100,000 YouTube subscribers to see. Also the US Lacrosse Magazine wrote an article on Koby’s Cause and how it helped spread suicide awareness among athletes.
Koby’s cause is still growing and I hope to go to more countries than just the Dominican Republic. I’m honored to be able to keep the memory of my friend alive and blessed to be able to turn this horrible incident into a positive movement that’s going to save other young people from losing their lives to suicide.
For more on Koby’s Cause, check out their Instagram account at Kobys_Cause