Last night Rob was given the honour of throwing the first ceremonial pitch at the Toronto Blue Jays Game.
On July 16, 2015 he stopped on a busy downtown Toronto street when he noticed a young woman standing on the ledge of a bridge about to end her life. He didn’t hesitate for a second. She is alive today because he made a choice to get out of the car and help a complete stranger during the absolute worst moment of her life.
A few months back he received an award from John Tory and the Police Department wanted to further recognize his heroism but giving him the chance to stand in front of 35,000 people at the Rogers Centre. It was a night none of us will ever forget.
What nobody knows is that he stopped for two reasons.
- Because he’s a mensch and did what we should all do. Help someone. Not to receive anything in return, but to do the right thing. Save a life. Encourage someone that their life is worth living. Let someone know that they have a purpose and nothing can ever be so bad that suicide would be the better option.
- She looked like me. Not the suicidal part. Her appearance. She was thin, frail, gaunt and her body reminded him of mine. We later found out that she was on a day pass from the psychiatric ward at NYGH. By the looks of it, she was likely in the Eating Disorder clinic. We don’t know for certain, but this is what Rob was led to believe.
So when he pulled over and saw this woman in such despair and her appearance was all too familiar it really hit home with Rob. As you can imagine, for days after this he was very emotional. – and to be honest he still is. Who can blame him? He came face to face with a young woman about to kill herself.
I would never end up on a bridge. I know what I have and why I am living. I have read numerous articles and heard so many stories of people committing suicide because of mental illness. It’s awful, horrible and so sad that people end up thinking that it’s their only way out. It’s not.
Rob and the girl had no conversation. He spoke. She didn’t. But she listened. And all she needed that day was one person to let her know how important her life was.
I get that every day. And I’m thankful for that.