Max always laughed, talked with co-workers, and friends….and he smiled…a lot. A smile that you could see from across the room.
He had his insecurities, his relationships, and his loves. His family had struggled when he was a child with alcohol abuse, extremely religious values that caused him to struggle with his sexuality, and he was looking for acceptance as an adult. He wanted to be seen as someone successful, and as someone who could rise up in the face of adversity in adulthood. He was also extremely intelligent, quick to learn, and curious, and became one of the best Paramedics. But, what is on the outside, isn’t always what’s on the inside.
Close friends never were able to fully see how hurt, sad, and depressed he truly was. How his smile was covering his pain. Max was depressed, but said that he was “going to be fine” and “not to worry about him”. However, within an hour of telling friends, “I’ll be right back”, he ended his life.
Max wants us to remember the lives that he saved as a Paramedic, the love that he gave to his sister and family, and how he was one of those friends that was always there. He wants us to remember his smile, and his spirt.
With an endowment from his family Foundation 1023 is launching our Living to the Max campaign to provide mental health services, education and support to first responders and their families who are experience life stress and contemplating suicide.