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After Tragedy, Father Strives to Spread Hope

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Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown is a mom of nine who writes columns for many local and national publications. She currently resides in Payson, and enjoys looking for good happenings in her area and sharing them for others to read about. For more of her stories, search "A Mother's Write" on Facebook.

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A red, 1965 Cadillac Deville. A baby blue 1965 Mustang. Then,branother Cadillac Deville — this time, a 1966. These cars didn’t only representbrcollector’s items for Santaquin resident, Cornell Olson. To him, theybrrepresented time — time with his youngest son, Kaleb. Hours and hours, the twobrwould spend restoring these cars. Those hours were cut short on April 6, 2017brwhen 22-year-old, Kaleb, who was a student at Dixie State College at the time,brtook his life.

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“When Kaleb died, everything stopped,” Olson said through muffledbrtears. “I don’t know why. Why did he do it? It’s the haunting question of everybrsingle member of the suicide sadness club — the worst club in the world to belongbrto. It’s heartbreaking and exhausting, and I just couldn’t function. I keptbrmyself in my room for two years. I couldn’t do anything but cry and keep myselfbrfrom wanting to go with him. It takes everything out of you. Nobody talks tobryou. Suicide sucks.  I wanted to work on the car, but I didn’t have it inbrme to do it.”

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That’s when Olson had an idea that lifted his spirits a bit andbrgave him hope. 

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“I didn’t want Kaleb to die in vain, and I wanted to help the manybryouth who are struggling,” Olson said. “There is so much money spent on sportsbrand other activities. What about the kids who just don’t fit? They need help.brMy son needed help.”

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Fueled with that desire to make a difference, Olson decided thatbrhe would turn the 1966 Cadillac he and his son were working on into a brand,brand travel around in it to speak to the local schools about suicide prevention.br

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That’s when he was connected with a man by the name of JorgebrGarcia who, along with his son, had been spreading a similar message to teensbrin the area.

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Serve Daily reported on Garcia and his son, Kaden back in Decemberbras a  father-son duo who have been working to spread the word of suicidebrprevention to teens through the clothing line, Your Tribe Clothing. Thebrclothing line has specific powerful or inspirational words with a semicolon inbrplace of the letter “i” to represent a sign to pause. In addition to thebrclothing line, the duo have been providing suicide awareness training tobrschools in the Nebo School District, and have even been commissioned to helpbrcreate the suicide prevention curriculum for the school district. When Olsonbrheard what the Garcias were doing, he decided to donate his cherished car tobrtheir efforts, in hopes that the two of them could restore the car together,brlike he and his son had planned. 

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“Being asked by Cornell to finish the project for him and his sonbris an honor and blessing to us,” Jorge Garcia said. “I grew up working on cars,brand it is something that brings me happiness. When we got the car, though, Ibrfelt like it belonged to the community, and not just my son and I. So, Ibrreached out to the community to see if there would be interest in donatingbrlabor and parts to make this a car that we could all benefit from.”

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Garcia reached out to places like Provo Big O’ Tire, Rock CanyonbrBank, Rock Canyon Bank, JP Customs, Advanced Powder Coating, and AutoMax tobrgather a tribe of community support to work on the car together. Each company,bralong with several individuals, have jumped on board, and are working togetherbrto help spread the message of hope.

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“This car is not my car, but our car,” Garcia said. “We will putbrthe name, ‘Your Tr;be Cloth;ng’ on it, as well as the names of those who havebrhelped rebuild it. Each will have the semicolon representing the sign to pause.brWe will take it to suicide awareness events at the schools and in thebrcommunity, parades and other community events like car shows to help keep anbropen dialogue of mental health, suicide, and hope. We are confident that thebrcommunity — the ‘TR;BE’ will come together to see this important work movebrforward, and we are so grateful to Cornell for doing this even during his ownbrtime of suffering and healing. 

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To keep updated on the car remodel or tobrhelp, a Facebook group has been set up under YOUR TR;BE RESTORATION. (Brown is a ServebrDaily Contributor.)

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