COLORADO SPRINGS — FOX21 News is celebrating remarkable women in southern Colorado by spending the past weeks sharing the stories of four women who were nominated by their friends or loved ones.
FOX21 viewers will be familiar with this Kristen Christy. We’ve shared her story before.
“Suicide is contagious, but a smile is contagious,” she told FOX21 News back in September 2018.
That year, she was named “Air Force Spouse of the Year” for her work in suicide prevention.
This year Christy’s husband, Sean Lange, put her in the running to become our Remarkable Woman. He says she deserves the title.
“She told her family’s story of hope in the midst of utter devastation, of losing her first husband to suicide after deployment and losing her oldest son to mental illness,” Lange said.
“I hope my oldest son is out there, but he has been missing for 1,606 days,” said Christy.
After their father’s death, both of her sons also attempted to take their own lives. And it’s why preventing suicide has become her life’s work.
“In 2019, I have traveled almost 80,000 miles,” said Christy.
She’s been on 30 trips, given 79 presentations, and traveled thousands and thousands of miles.
“As I travel, as I talk about resiliency, overcoming obstacles,” said Christy.
She speaks to veterans, active duty service members, and their families. “With each presentation, she [leaves] a piece of her heart and soul,” said Lange.
Christy says success stories keep her inspired and moving forward.
“The most memorable for me was during my presentation, someone walked out after the playing of my son’s voicemail, and he walked right to the mental health clinic with two pieces of paper in his hand. One was his shopping list of how he was going to take his life, and the other one was his suicide note,” said Christy.
She says this young man was planning on taking his own life that very night.
“Our story made a difference. It saved that airman. It saved that family. It saved that community,” said Christy.
Now this remarkable woman continues to march forth with a legislative measure.
“For seven years, I have been working on getting March 4th as a national day for survivors,” said Christy.
She calls it National Resilience Day.
“No matter what the obstacle, we put one foot in front of the other, and we march forth and conquer,” said Christy.
Christy recently attended the State of the Union Address as Senator Cory Gardner’s guest, and she’s currently headed to Washington, D.C., working on getting National Resilience Day signed into proclamation.
The top winner for FOX21’s Remarkable Women contest will be announced on Friday, March 6th.