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Aunt Cindy

In honor of Chase Borden

My nephew started showing signs of mental illness in his late 20s. It took a couple of years before he was diagnosed properly, and he was the father of two little girls by the time he was diagnosed. The voices in his head were scary, and he would call daily saying, Aunt Cindy, the voices won’t stop. I’d talk to him for a while, and then he would hang up the phone. I researched support groups for him, and for his wife, children and mother (my sister); unfortunately, they never went. He agreed to go if I would take him, so I took a day off of work and prepared to make the drive to another state. I was too late.

Despite being hospitalized twice, he was never placed on the registry that would’ve prevented him from purchasing a gun. He called his wife, went to the mountains, put the gun into his mouth and pulled the trigger. He survived. His wife divorced him, and now my sister has the responsibility of being his caretaker. Chase can walk, talk, feed himself and get dressed, but his mental capacity is that of a child. This event has torn my family apart.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.