By Melissa Garcia
DENVER (CBS4)– A Marine Corps veteran is riding a bicycle across the country to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
Denny Ying, 36, a Marine Corps veteran, made a stop Sunday at Denver Fire Department’s station #21.
So far in 2018, there have been just as many firefighter suicides as deaths in the line of duty. Ying wants to improve the statistics.
Earlier this year, Ying did not own a bike. Now he is pedaling across the country to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
“A lot of times we give, give, give, give and give, and we forget to take better care of ourselves,” Ying told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
Ying started #TeamRidesForHope after his own struggle with depression.
He also lost a friend to suicide last month, before he set off on the 3,800-mile mission.
“It breaks my heart to know that she was struggling so much, overwhelmed. And she made the choice that she did,” Ying said.
He wears a shirt honoring the lost loved one of friend and family members who he has met along the way.
More than 1,000 miles into his journey, Ying has touched countless hearts, and so have the people who he is riding for.
“The truth is, they are so important,” Ying said. “Is it okay that we’re not perfect? Maybe it is okay.”
Ying is starting a cycling team of survivors to continue raising awareness.
SUICIDE HOTLINE: 1.844.493.8255 or text TALK to 38255
LINK: Mental Health Colorado