Franklin James Cook

Florida Survivor “Makes It Matter”

In Grief on October 22, 2008 at 3:30 am

ORIGINAL STORY — Virginia Cervasio of Cape Coral, Fla., whose son Angelo died of suicide in 2006, is the November recipient of the Reader’s Digest Foundation’s “Make It Matter” program, resulting in a $100,000 grant from the foundation to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The Reader’s Digest Foundation is contributing $1 million over 10 months to nonprofit organizations based on inspiring stories submitted by the public.

The story Cervasio submitted tells of her founding C.A.R.E.S. (Community Awareness in Recognizing and Educating on Suicide), which today has “two licensed therapists on call” [and] “offers counseling, referrals, and support groups for teens and adults.”

“The question of why stays with you a long time,” Cervasio says. “I had to learn I couldn’t ask that question anymore, because I’d never know the answer.”

In the end, Angelo’s death has also had a positive impact on Cervasio, now 50. “I am going to college for the first time in my life, to become a victim advocate,” she says. “My son changed my path.”

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