September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Read and share stories to honor survivors whose loved ones died by gun suicide.

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Sydney Marshall

I am 23 years old. I am lucky to be alive. On June 24, 2017, I attended a birthday party. We were all sitting in the back, on a deck. A few of my friends hadn’t shown yet, and some left to go to the gas station. Ironically, they asked if I wanted to come with. I didn’t; I stayed.

I sat on my then boyfriend’s lap, and we were all sitting there, talking. The back deck was raised above the ground and was covered around the back with a curtain. We couldn’t see out into the backyard, but at about 11 p.m., gunshots filled the air. When I first heard them, I didn’t know I was being hit. I was pushed to the ground, but it was already too late: I had been shot four times. I spent a week in the hospital, and I still have complete mobility. I thank God for this. It is still hard to cope to this day, but I am so very thankful to be where I am now.

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