Andrew Joseph Applegate was born on April 30, 1995, the youngest of the five Applegate boys. Growing up in Palatine, he attended Hunting Ridge Elementary and Plum Grove Jr. High before attending St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.
Andrew was a beautiful person, inside and out. Andrew was a funny, kind, loyal and intelligent young man. He was witty, but could be soft spoken. He was gentle, but could show biting humor. Being the youngest, he was tough and never afraid to take his brothers on! He surrounded himself with wonderful friends whom he loved playing sports with, going on typical boy adventures with and of course, competing in March Madness and Fantasy Football tournaments. He thoroughly enjoyed being an amazing “big brother” to the many foster children who came into our home over the years. He loved both playing and watching sports and was a particular fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes.
As Andrew’s junior year at St. Ignatius progressed, he started showing signs of depression. He faced a series of physical health challenges that kept him from the activities he enjoyed. He became reclusive, avoiding opportunities to socialize with his many friends. Despite our efforts to seek help for Andrew, his depression took hold, affecting his ability to think clearly, and he died by suicide while on a family vacation on June 27, 2012.
Our family decided that Andrew’s death should not be the end of his story. As a family who have faced the challenges of mental illness, we have come to know the stigma that is attached to mental diseases, the disparity in the way our health and insurance systems treats those with mental illness and the critical need for more effort being made to support research to find better treatments for the pain and suffering that so many suffer. Andrew lives through us in the efforts we are committed to making to help those who suffer and support those who survive.
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