First-of-its-kind march to increase suicide awareness
One night in 1972, Margot Malone took “more sleeping pills than I could imagine a horse needing” and went to bed – never expecting to wake up.
Then 22, Malone was suicidal over such things as breaking up with her third boyfriend in a row, the recent death of her father and the Vietnam War.
“I felt all of a sudden I was doing the right thing” by attempting suicide, the Nevada County woman remembered.
But later that night Malone heard a voice urging her to wake up – the same voice that saved her when at age 9 she awoke in her bedroom filled with smoke from a house fire.
Thinking “that was a really stupid thing to do,” Malone fought to stay awake, punching walls, drinking cups of coffee and listening over and over again to “Hold Your Head Up,” a hit song by the rock band Argent.
“It gave me the will to go on,” she said.
Now, “when I think back on all I would have missed since then, I shake. I would have missed my life to avoid temporary pain,” said Malone, who went on to marry a man she loved, raise a son and travel to such places as Egypt and Ireland.
Malone plans to take part in a first-of-its-kind march in the nation’s capital to raise awareness about suicide and generate funds for its prevention.
She’ll be among some 3,000 participants expected Aug. 17-18 in Washington, D.C., for “Out of the Darkness,” a 26-mile overnight walk.
Starting at dusk, marchers will walk through the night and arrive by morning at the Capitol.
Proceeds from the event will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding suicide prevention research, education and awareness programs.
The group helped plan the soon-to-be-released National Suicide Prevention Strategy report.
Malone said suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, and has claimed more lives than AIDS.
But she said she’s living proof that there is much to live for.
“I’ve had the most incredible life,” she said.
How to Help
To help Margot Malone meet her $1,000 fund-raising goal to fund suicide prevention programs, donate online at http://www.bethepeople.com/darkness/events_darkness.htm, call (800) 825-1000, or mail checks to Out of the Darkness, 135 S. LaSalle, Dept. 7401, Chicago, IL 60674-7401.
Include Margot Malone’s name and her walker number: 2771.
To help Malone pay for her trip to Washington D.C., call her directly at 470-8519.
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