Contact Me

Please do not hesitate to contact me with comments, questions, suggestions, or donation information!

Email: ianwalksamerica@gmail.com

11 thoughts on “Contact Me

  1. Dear Ian:

    This is my first message to you but I know there will be more. I first read about you and your inspiring mission . in the newsletter of NAMI Southwestern PA, Issue 4, Vol 18. June 2014. That took me to the archives at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette where Brian O’Neill has written of your trek in three columns to date. Spreading awareness about mental illness and suicide has proven to be a daunting challenge because so much secrecy still shrouds most of the sufferers and their loved ones because of the discrimination against and remaining stigma surrounding people with mental illness.

    I am the mother of a deceased daughter (2003 at age 36) whose life was taken incrementally by the agony of her mental illness coupled with substance abuse. My Patty tried to kill herself many times (these were not just gestures for attention) and, ironically, her actual death came from a toxic mix of some psychiatric and street drugs. She died in her apartment in Dormont on W. Liberty Ave. where we found her after getting no response by phone or at the door.

    Let me give you a few coincidental experiences from your’s and my lives. Years back I cantored for Roman Catholic masses at Kane Hospital and later the regional Kane in Scott Twp. I see you received your R.N. at California University of PA, where my husband taught from 1969-2000. I also noted that you worked in the I.C.U. at Mercy. Patty spent 2 ½ months at Mercy (before UPMC) and several weeks in the I.C.U. after a fall from the roof of a two-story building adjacent to the apartment building she lived in(spring 2001). Police did virtually no work up on the case because her past record had shown suicide attempts. They had found her incoherent in the alleyway behind the buildings with broken pelvis, punctured lung plus several other injuries.

    Patty’s illness became apparent when she was 11 or 12 although looking further back there were signs much earlier. She had over 35 psychiatric hospital admissions several at Mercy, a few at Mercy Providence, Western Psych , etc.

    I was prompted to contact you now because of news of Robin Williams death by suicide characterized by a FOX News host as an act of cowardice. Unfortunately, this view is shared by many. In fact, after Patty’s first serious suicide try with overdoing on meds, she was in the ICU and moaning because the tube in her throat was hurting. The nurse said “Sshh, there are sick people in here!

    Charge ahead with your admirable cause. I will be following along in spirit.

    Yours truly,
    Gail Rockwood, a still and ever-grieving mother.

  2. Came across your story on KDKA website. I am a Bethel Park Native living in South Florida, and was catching up on news from Home, when I read your story, and followed the link to your journey. My Family has been thru 3 suicides over the past 3 Decades. What you are Doing is Awesome!! Raising Awareness of how Suicide can affect the loved ones left behind. Keep up the Great Work. Safe Journey to You.

  3. Go Ian go! I’ve been following your walk. I just read parts of your blog from Colorado and Kansas. You are amazing. Wishing you safe travels.

  4. Ian, this is Carol from the Syracuse Journal. The mountain you were filming while on LaVeta Pass was the west peak of the Spanish Peaks. We were just a few miles from there at our place in Colorado when you were filming that. Hope you guys are doing well. I am working on your story for the paper. We didn’t get it in last week, but it will be in tomorrow’s paper.

  5. When will you be in Southern California? I had a brain aneurysm in ’09 and had to deal with thoughts of suicide. Would love for you to stay with me when you reach California! Let me know. I am located in Chino, CA. Would also love for you to be able to make our brain injury meeting that we have on Wednesday nights! Let me know!

  6. Hey Ian,

    Thanks for taking the time out of your day to talk with the kids and me today. You’re an inspiration to many and I pray that your journey is safe.

    Brian.

  7. As a mother of a child with a mental illness I’m afraid for my child everyday. It warms my heart to see that you are willing to take your time to raise awareness. Thank you so much for making this journey. May God bless you and provide you comfort during this time of grief

  8. Was wondering if you were the young man who stopped in Turon looking ofr a store to buy socks.You filled up your water bottles at our Community Center, worked abit on your map and left.If it was you, wish you had shared your story with us old ladies that were there. Good Luck

    1. Hi Eydie! I think I may have a twin out there. People keep saying they have seen me in places I have never been, but I thank you for your support!

  9. Hi Ian,

    I saw you on your walk between Bolivar and Stockton MO. I knew when I saw you that you were special and I wanted to stop and offer a ride. I was traveling alone and too afraid to stop but as I was on my way back home to Stockton I saw you sitting under the shade tree having lunch. It was so hot that day I was worried for you. I thought perhaps you were a college student trying to get home for the summer. After seeing your story in the local newspaper I recognized you right away. Very sorry you lost your brother but what you are doing is amazing. Keep up the great walk!

  10. Hi Ian,
    This is your Nana’s friend, Sharon. Ian, so many people are so proud of you and support you. I was in a coffee shop with a friend, Claire, when I ran into an old friend of mine and Jeannette’s, Audrey. In telling Audrey about you, my friend Claire, chimed in…”oh you know that young man? I’ve been reading about him…he was on KDKA…what a wonderful thing he’s doing…etc.” Ian, you may not know how many people you touch, how many souls you reach, but God sees and blesses all that you are doing for those suffering among us. I am so proud of you, and so proud to know you and share your inspiring story with others. It is heroic what you are doing. God bless you every step of the way!

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