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Letters of Impact
Little did I know the person I was going to meet when I went to Arthur last June (2014) for the Get In Touch For Hutch event would become a big part of my life. I listened to this incredible young man give his story about pain, struggle, loss of self, suicide attempts, addiction, hitting rock bottom and then reaching out to change his life. Paulie O’Byrne was that young man. It was amazing to hear him identify himself as that “1 in 5” who is affected by mental illness, yet has taken that ‘statistic’ and made it the most positive motivator in his life. Paulie has been an incredible inspiration to me since I first met him and we share a number of his messages through social media. We had the honour of him participating in our Battle For Mental Health charity hockey game over the Christmas break as a player and speaker. His message was well received by the audience attending and we are looking forward to him attending the Owen Sound Attack Jr A Mental Health game on March 8th. Paulie is going to be joining us for the puck drop! WES For Youth Online is thrilled to be associated wth Paulie and especially his messages concerning men and young men’s mental health. We will continue to promote his I’m1in5 cross Canada Tour, sponsor some kilometres and hopefully join him for a portion along the way.
Yolanda Cameron, Co-Founder WES For Youth Online.
Paulie & I met through a mutual friend. When I finally had the chance to talk to him personally I had no idea the impact that his story would have on me. Paulie is young man who has endured much in his life. What I saw in that first meeting, albeit how devastating his story is, was a guy who has survived and who has the will to conquer. Paulie & I both share the love of sports - hockey specifically, but we have another connection through the heart and that is through the experience of tragedy. The journey of our despair, has motivated us to find causes that we are dedicated to trying to make a difference for others; to encourage others to find their voice when they might not otherwise find the strength without us sharing our stories first. Paulie very bravely shared his story at our annual fundraising event last year. The impact was visible through verbal and written feedback but could also be seen through responses portrayed through the facial expressions of our participants, their eyes and their body language. You are changing lives Paulie. Keep on keeping on! Wishing you all the very best on your upcoming tour.
Founder -Get In Touch For Hutch-