Lilly Glass Akoko, LCSW
Co-captain, Providence Pacers Team

From age 6 to 36, I battled severe and relentless depression. In spite of it, I played sports very well, I made it through graduate school, I married, and now have two beautiful boys and volunteer at several places.

To the world, I always looked good, seemed happy, appeared intelligent and seemed to have it all. But those of us who struggle with mental health issues know that on the inside, my world was constantly turned upside down and the pain in my head, in my heart and in my soul was unbearable.

I walk for the thousands of mothers who get put down because the world only sees who they think these mothers are, and fail to have a heart for what they are truly dying from inside.

I walk for the thousands of clients I have come in contact with who recidivate, who have ended their lives because it was just too much, who have also been helped, who have sometimes even been healed!

I walk for the TRUE SURVIVORS…those who have attempted to end their lives but are living today to tell about it, those who have attempted treatment over and over again but are living to inspire others, those who are brave like you and me, willing to share their story, no matter what the backlash may be! I walk to unite with others to overcome stigma and to support a system of care that truly works!

I have been depression free for the past 3 years and thank God every day for the healthy mind he has restored to me. My heart and my soul are blessed!