Peyton complained to teachers and principals about the bullying, but nothing changed. One day, he told his mother, “I should just kill myself.” She took him to a hospital and he started counseling and medication for depression and anxiety. It seemed to be helping, but on Oct. 8, 2014, he hanged himself from a ceiling fan in his bedroom.

This past Thursday, we hosted a track meet at College Park High School. It was a practice meet, no places kept, no medals awarded, and the only thing that truly mattered to the coaches were the times and distances as we prepare for our first meet this coming week.

As the meet came to its last event, we shuffled runners on and off the track so that we could finish up, get inside, and get warm. As I looked up to check the lanes, I couldn’t help but notice one young man. He was tall and gangly with a distance runner’s physique, but what really stood out what his red hair and freckles. Not only did he have the same haircut as Peyton used to sport, but he looked enough like Peyton that I had to take off my glasses, rub my eyes, and do a double take. Needless to say, it wasn’t Peyton. Peyton has been dead for almost two and a half years, but none the less, the resemblance was shocking.

Read on | Peyton’s Heart