Daron's Story

By Travis Eldridge

February 14, 2014 Updated Feb 15, 2014 at 2:29 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton)  Scars mark the face of Luke Richardson, not unlike the faces of most former professional hockey players. But it's an unseen scar that is the deepest.

"As parents you just go over it every day...what did we miss," Richardson said.

Nov. 13, 2010. It's the day Daron Richardson took her own life. A day a sister lost her best friend, hockey players lost a teammate and parents lost a daughter.

And they didn't really know why.

"I guess shock was probably a better word than surprise for us because, now that we've gone through this tragedy we've learned a lot more about mental health, but she was obviously suffering in silence and we had no signs of that," Richardson said. "Her girlfriends were devastated because they didn't now, her sister, her closest friend Morgan, was devastated because she didn't know."

Because to them, there were no signs of trouble.

"Daron was the typical life of the party, even though she was only 14," her Dad explains. "She was the outgoing, dancing and singing, and just brought other peoples spirits up when she was around."

Then came the movement.
 
It started with her former teammates, and " Do it For Daron" spread in Ottawa, raising awareness for youth Mental Health.
 
But when the Richardson's moved to Binghamton, they also left behind that support. That is until Luke shared his story with the B-Sens.

"I think I did last year, I know I talked about it," Richardson said. "The guys were great and supported ourselves, and it was a difficult year. It was our first year away from home and Morgan was away. We just felt like leaving a little bit more empty, so they were great."

Those same big, strong, intimidating hockey players were fighting for something different.

"When you see the players they're fearless," Richardson said. "All the way through, management, the organizations, I think they want to do things, they have ideas, and they're not afraid to do it."

Nothing will ever completely heal those scars for Luke, Stephanie and Morgan Richardson, but they hope, maybe this awareness will help prevent new ones.

"If it does, if it saves one person than it's worth it," said Richardson. "It's just like anything. If you can break down the stigma of something that is really worth talking about into helping people, then it's worth it."
 
All while remembering Daron through her favorite color....purple.

For more information on the D.I.F.D. Foundation click here.

Click here for the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier.