Utica, N.Y. - Mikasha Dawson of Utica lost her 15 year old daughter Bianca Rose to suicide in May of 2017 and admits her own life has been a struggle ever since.
On Saturday, Mikasha and her sister, Willijah Dawson, also of Utica, took an important step in turning their grief into something positive.
The Dawson sisters held their first annual Fitness Dance Party at Hanna Park outside of Utica’s City Hall.
Participants made a $15 donation to take part in Zumba and other types of fitness classes right in Hanna Park. All money raised will go toward the creation of a brand new not-for-profit called the Bee Rose Foundation, named in honor of 15 year old Bianca Rose whom family and friends called ‘Bee’ because of her love of bumblebees.
Mikasha says her daughter was a happy child and she never had any idea that Bianca may have been so depressed, she took her own life, “I look back and I try to find the warning signs with Bianca, unfortunately there were no signs, I mean she was so happy.”
Willijah Dawson says her niece was always smiling and always lit up the room she was in with that smile and she now wishes Bianca felt comfortable enough to talk to her family if she was suffering from depression.
A big reason she and her sister want to form the Bee Rose Foundation is to help create programs in schools to let kids out there know, not to keep things inside, to basically eliminate the stigma of depression, and have kids feel comfortable enough to be able to open up to loved ones.
The Dawson sisters hope to raise enough money to create the not-for-profit by next spring.
In the meantime. Mikasha has some advice for parents out there, have a conversation with your child and ask them, “Do you want to talk to me, don’t be ashamed, tell me about it, I’m here, I’m here to listen, I’m here to support you, I’m not going to judge you.”
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