ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In 2015, Jess Padula lost her late husband to suicide and survived her own attempt.
“It’s an uncomfortable topic to talk about,” Padula said, though she’s become more comfortable sharing her story of suicide and survival in the past few years. She previously discussed her depression with NEWS10 ABC, but she understands her public voice on this issue is one of few.
“I think we’re embarrassed,” she said of people trying to combat depression and anxiety. “There’s something about it that makes us feel like we’re different than other people.”
Now she’s spreading awareness by hitting the streets. She’s running the David Goggins 4x4x48 challenge this weekend, which is four miles every four hours for 48 hours. Her mission is to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in the Capital Region. She hit her $10,000 goal Wednesday. However, her campaign has prompted so much more over the past month.
“The reach has been amazing, the amount of people sharing,” she said. “Sharing the story, sharing their stories with me.”
The challenge begins Friday at 11 p.m. She expects each leg to take between 40 and 60 minutes, and she’s running them all outside in different locations to spread her message around the Capital Region.
She was asked what a successful end would look like to the challenge and she responded by saying, “It looks like standing here next year reaching an astronomical goal and doing this again, and again, and again, and again as many times as it takes.”
To support Jess in her fundraising efforts, click here.