By Kelly Werthmann

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4)– What may look like an ordinary girls’ basketball game… is anything but. On Tuesday night, the score doesn’t matter… the stats are not recorded. The game between Arapahoe High School and Regis Jesuit High School is all about heart.

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“It brings my son to life,” Maria Bales told CBS4.

Maria Bales (credit: CBS)

In late September, Maria’s 17-year-old son, Nick, an Arapahoe High senior, took his own life.

Nick Bales (credit: Maria Bales)

Just days later his classmate, Samantha Davis, did the same.

Samantha Davis (credit: Linda Davis)

“She was someone with a huge heart,” Linda Davis said tearfully. “She hated seeing other people in pain.”

Linda Davis (credit: CBS)

Nick and Samantha’s mothers share the unimaginable pain of losing a child.

“My biggest fear is as a mom is my son being forgotten,” Maria said.

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Yet together, Maria and Linda have strength to share an important message.

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“I want the kids to know there’s goodness out there and we all love them… and we’re here for them,” Linda said.

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To help spread their message – Arapahoe and Regis came together… creating a “foundation game.” Admission became donations…raising money for suicide prevention programs.

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Hundreds of fans packed the stands, then at halftime – the court became a platform for support.

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“We care about you. We want you here. We want you to live,” Maria told the crowd.

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Knowing so many other teens struggle with thoughts of suicide, the grieving mothers want others to know – it’s always okay to ask for help.

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“If my Nick would’ve talked to me or a friend that night… he would still be here,” Maria said. “Reach out. It will save your life. This needs to stop and it starts with you. Let’s break the stigma and let’s do it now.”

Additional Resources

SUICIDE HOTLINE: 1.844.493.8255 or text TALK to 38255

Colorado Crisis Services 

Children’s Colorado Suicide Prevention
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Community Crisis Connection

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.


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