It’s every parent’s nightmare, their child’s promising young life cut short, dreams of the future abruptly ended, a nightmare of loss left in their place. In 2006, the Fuss family’s 17-year old son, Tommy, a Wellesley resident and Belmont Hill School student, died by suicide, leaving his family grappling with more questions than answers about the mental illness that he suffered with and the tragedy left in its wake.
From tragedy, his mother, RoseMary Fuss, was moved to create the Hope Tree, a creative labor of love that she puts up each year in memory of her son. Fuss uses knitting as a way to express her hope that as a society, we will come to take mental illness seriously through raising awareness, removing the stigma, furthering understanding of mental diseases, and preventing lives cuts short by suicide.
In addition to the Hope Tree, the Tommy Fuss team each year participates in the Out of the Darkness Overnight walk. The walk, which allows the family to join thousands of people nationwide to raise awareness about depression and suicide, takes place in the dark as a symbol to remind the participants of the darkness their loved ones experienced due to mental illness.
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