Families remember loved ones at suicide prevention walk - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Families remember loved ones at suicide prevention walk

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Hilda Ostby is still recovering from the loss of her son Eli, who took his own life in December.

"You can't ever go back and change what happened but maybe you can help someone else," said Hilda.

The father of three was 37 years old and left behind many loved ones who now cherish their memories.

"We would tell stories, you know, what we thought heaven would be like and we would just talk back and forth, and learning how to ride bikes together," said Maxwell Ostby, Eli's twin brother.

"A wonderful person who in a time of severe depression made this decision which I don't really feel was his choice," said Hilda. "It was just something he did in that painful time."

Now the family is working to raise awareness and money to help prevent suicide. Their "Live. Laugh. Love." team raised more than any other at the Out of the Darkness Walk in Iowa City. The funds raised go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and half of the money stays in Eastern Iowa, going to groups like The Crisis Center of Johnson County.

"We want to make sure that people have access to crisis counseling in any form," said Keri Neblett, The Crisis Center of Johnson County.

The walk is a chance for families and friends to remember their loves ones. Walkers brought pictures for a memory board and the names of people the teams wanted to honor were read aloud followed by a moment of silence for thousands of others.

The Ostbys hope that their family's story will help others.

"It's something that we just, don't want to brush under the rug," said Joseph Ostby, Eli's brother. "It needs to be discussed and if we can just help save one life then it's all been worth it."

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