Losing a child is one of the hardest things a parent can experience.
"You don’t ever get over it."
That loss is something Xavier Whitford has to deal with on a daily basis, ever since her son Tommy, committed suicide 4 years ago.
"He was pretty much just a jokester all the time, and made us smile a lot, but he was also very quiet and he struggled a lot. " said Whitford.
But instead of letting the pain and grief take over her life, Xavier decided to take action.
"We started a foundation early on, and started getting involved and I created some teen groups locally, because there were none." said Whitford.
"Group Hope" is a safe place for teens to come and share their thoughts and feelings.
"If we know they have a place to go and talk, or someone to go to and talk to, then they’re more likely to do that, and if they do that, then someone can intervene and help them." said Whitford.
For Abby Matson, having the group has greatly impacted her life.
"It’s different than regular one and one with a therapist, it’s nice to be able to talk to kids your age, some who even go to your school that understand what’s going on, and are there to give you support and advice, and just help you out when you need it." said Matson.
And so has Xavier.
"She has done so much for me. She’s always there whenever we need something, and is always there for me if I just need someone to talk to. Just a really great person." said Matson.
Xavier Whitford, inspiring 815, by giving hope to one teen at a time.
"I hope that my son is honored in everything that I do, and that’s why I do what I do." said Whitford.