Hey, y’all (I’m not southern):
I am a small town Kansas girl who enjoys living a simple life.
As a young mom I was determined to rise above the teen mom status and become an educated leader and role model for my children.
I believe in kindness and being a person of character. I’d like to bring up my children to value these traits more than being rich and finding happiness through money and fame.
UNFORGETTABLE: The Fall of 2013
My life had been going so well in the fall of 2013. I couldn’t have been happier. I had a great job as an insurance agent for a Fortune 500 Company. I volunteered for the local ambulance service as an EMT. I had started dating an amazing man of faith. I was debt-free, and most importantly, had three healthy, happy, and active children! Kyler, 15, Broderick (Brodie), 13, and Sheridan, 9.
I remember being excited for what 2014 was going to be. A new year and great memories to be made with my family.
Unexpectedly, everything changed the morning of February 26, 2014.
Thirty minutes after telling my kids I loved them and wishing them a great day at school, I received a phone call from the high school that Kyler hadn’t come to school.
The next five minutes would forever change me and the life I once knew.
My family isn’t the same, my career isn’t the same. My kids aren’t the same. Everything changed. I was broken but still had to be The Rock for my family. Every sense of normal I had once known was forever changed. Just like that . . . life changed!
I would not wish this on any family. Who would have thought that my son would make a forever decision? Certainly, this is not what I ever thought could happen to us.
Kyler had taken his life . . .
As I stood in Kyler’s bedroom, looking at his lifeless body I realized I had two choices, curl up and die with him, or WAKE UP and start living life for him.
Kyler made a forever decision that morning and became 1 of the 454 suicides in the state of Kansas that year. Even with a strong support system and faith – the “WHY’s” and the “HOW’s”; the guilt was taking its toll on me and our small community.
I knew we all needed something or someone to help start the healing process. This is when we found Jeff.
Jeff and Betty Meet . . .
September of 2015, I was able to bring Jeff Yalden into the community. “During the two day visit Jeff gave me the courage to really start fighting for suicide education and prevention and to step out of my comfort zone and use my voice.”
Since Jeff’s visit . . . so much has changed.
I have become determined to make a difference in families, schools, and teen suicide prevention. I have testified in front of the Kansas Senate and House to help pass into Law SB 323 that mandates suicide education and prevention to all Kansas School Staff. I’ve committed to being a support system and resource for local families in the event they experience the unthinkable themselves. I know my passion is far greater than the state of Kansas and the midwest. I want to help and make more of a difference!
I know that I can’t take back time and bring Kyler home. Nothing can bring Kyler back, but with each life touched I can honestly think there is one family less who has to go to bed each night in the unthinkable pain my family has had to endure.
Suicide is forever. Pain isn’t. As Jeff says, “Suicide is a permanent action to a temporary situation.” I am determined to help Jeff give hope to the hopeless.
It’s been the most emotional and trying time, but Jeff has been a great resource and an inspiration to me, my community, and my family.
The Jeff Yalden Foundation, Inc.
When Jeff called and we talked about his non-profit foundation, I couldn’t help but be excited. I prayed. I talked it over with my family, and I left my job and came to work with Jeff as his National Coordinator.
However I can help you get Jeff to your school and your community, please reach out to me. I will do everything I can to help you save lives and give hope to your students, staff, parents and all the community.
I look forward to working with you and helping Jeff touch hearts and change lives.
Betty Brennan, National Coordinator
Email Me or Call 800-948-9289