Tony Smith left his home in Virginia in the middle of August on a journey, and that journey is bringing him through Muskingum County.
Smith is running across the country to raise awareness for suicide prevention. He started in Pulaski, Virginia and headed to the east coast and up to New York City before starting his journey west. He said his own struggles with depression as a child led him to attempt this feat.
"I almost took my life when I was 13," said Smith. "Ever since then I’ve kind of spoke out to help raise awareness and to be honest with you when I was 13 years old I kind of turned to running as a way to refocus my energy in a positive direction and now I’m using running to spread the message."
He is not doing this to raise money but rather to raise awareness and use it as a way to educate people about suicide. Each day he runs in honor of someone who has been lost to suicide.
"Each day I dedicate that leg of the journey to a lost loved one to suicide," said Smith. "What I do is I take a picture frame and I write the loved ones names in and then I write what the family wants me to say about the loved one to honor their life and I post it on Facebook."
You can see those testimonials, request your own and hear about his journey at www.runhopelive.com or on the Facebook page Run Hope Live Saves.