After losing her son to suicide, Cathi Naples is raising money for others who have suffered abuse and trauma.
Jake Hoffman, who grew up in Cloverdale, was 10 days away from turning 19 when he took his own life in August, 2015.
Naples said she first noticed a change in her youngest son’s behaviour when he was 10.
Five years later, he was finally diagnosed with ADHD, depression and anxiety.
Eventually, after talking to some of Jake’s friends, Naples discovered that her son had been hiding the fact he had apparently been sexually abused as a child.
“Isn’t it sad that a child would lose all sense of hope and just give up?” she said.
“He fought really hard, but there was no help for him. People need to be able to talk about abuse; people shouldn’t be ashamed. Abuse destroys people’s souls.”
Naples said she struggled to get her son the help she knew he needed — he had previously attempted suicide — but to no avail.
The fundraiser is being held at the Langley Tennis World — where Naples takes lessons — on Sunday (June 12) with one-hour court rentals for $20. Langley Tennis World (7888 200 St.) is located by Willoughby Community Park and the Langley Events Centre (202A Street and 80 Avenue).
There will also be cold drinks by donation to keep everyone hydrated and silent auction items to bid on.
The event will run from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The money will go to Jake’s Fund, which is part of Dan’s Legacy.
Dan’s Legacy is dedicated to providing counselling and life skills programs for youth survivors of abuse and trauma.
“Even though we worked hard together on overcoming many personal problems that (Jake) had endured since childhood, some personal issues overwhelmed him,” wrote Tom Littlewood, a program director with Dan’s Legacy on the fundraising page.
“There were days in which he was on top of the world but sadly other days the world seemed to be on top of him.”
“In all my years of pleading and begging for help and warning people (suicide) would be the outcome, no one listened,” Naples said.
“Jacob surrendered, but I will not. I was his biggest advocate while he was alive and I will continue to be his biggest advocate in his death.”
Naples said she is also calling on the government to stop budget cuts and provide the resources necessary to help to youth who are struggling with suicidal thoughts.