Resilient is the first word that comes to mind when you hear about the tragedies that Ginny Dennehy has faced, and the work that she and her family have done to help young people suffering from depression.
Dennehy lost her son to suicide after a battle with clinical depression at the young age of 17.
While most parents would be crippled under the weight of the tragedy, Dennehy turned her grief into motivation to make an impact on the lives of others.
“When I was at the hospital wishing I could will Kelty back to life while he was on life support, and then realizing that I couldn’t, I decided then and there that I had to do something to help other families in this situation.” — Ginny Dennehy, interview with The University of Fraser Valley
Ginny and her husband Kerry founded The Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation in 2001 to provide support to youth and teens who suffer from depression, and to help educate their loved ones about the disease and the depths of its grasp.
Eight years later, Dennehy lost her daughter to an incorrectly prescribed dosage of painkillers on a trip to Thailand at the age of 23. Faced with another tragedy, she could have easily given up and succumbed to the grief of losing another child. Instead, she persevered to continue the work of her family’s foundation.
To date, the foundation has raised over $7 million dollars that have been carefully distributed towards care, education and research projects to directly impact on the lives of young people with mental illness and their families.
While it’s easy to succumb to regret and sadness after any tragedy, Ginny Dennehy has shown us the power of turning grief into a mission to help prevent the same tragedies from affecting families like hers.
When faced with a tragedy, you can give up and feel sorry for yourself, or you can work to help prevent others from dealing with the same pain. It’s clear which path Ginny has taken.
Learn More about The Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation here.
Photo Credit: thekeltyfoundation.org