Last weekend the EVE Community once again came together to support not only an in game event, but one to raise awareness of something that has at some point touched all of us in one way or another. No more so than Tony Lechner, who has himself experienced the dark days that come with depression and suicide. Better known as Yolo Swagtron, a member of TEST and is probably best known for his hilariously funny reddit comments, youtube and twitch streams. A few years ago he released his personal experience battling with his inner daemons on his personal website. Tony was lucky in that unlike many people he had a family that was willing and able to support him during this difficult time.
I learned so much. How depression works. How important it is to talk to people about how you feel, or even just say hello. How important your family is. How unimportant the individual waves of change in your life are - life goes up and down, and change is the only constant. That money and status mean precisely jack shit. That there's nothing wrong with who I am, and it's perfectly okay to be a nerd; I don't need to hide that side of me anymore. It's perfectly okay to be wrong, and look silly.
Most important of all, I read, re-read, and re-read another fifty times a line from a Dan Millman book:
There is no path to Happiness. Happiness is the path.
My whole life I'd been pursuing happiness. Getting a degree to get a job to get all the things I've always wanted. But I was wrong.
The happiness was within all along.
Tony has begun to do all he can to help people in similar situations and has started to run charity drives on his twitch stream to raise awareness of suicide prevention groups. Last weekend he took on the challenge of a 24 hour live stream to help raise awareness and support for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. His goal was to raise $500 towards the charity.
The EVE community came together and in that 24 hour period smashed the $500 target in 2 hours and went far beyond it raising in total a fantastic $2,877 as at the time of publishing.
I'm blown away by just how well people responded to it. A ton of people from all over the map - Goons, PL, TISHU, TRI - all contributed financially or with their time, and we blew past our $500 goal in under two hours. Special shoutouts to Derty Dan, Mr Hyde, BigCountryTX, and DaBigRedBoat for hanging out in the morning and providing amazing fitting advice and content, Rocket X and Killa Bee from Pandemic Legion for arranging their titans for maximum explosion beauty on my super (and patience waiting for TEST to actually finish forming), and the Imperium for giving me a platform to talk to folks via the Open Comms Show, as well as fighting our tongue-in-cheek VFK invasion.
The entire 24 hour stream is available on the YoloSwagtron9000 twitch page and (once the lengthy process of encoding the entire day has been completed) will also be available on youtube to watch.
I asked Tony if there are any more plans to run similar events in the future and he confirmed that EVE Streamers were all coming together already to work on another charity stream. Be sure to follow @YoloSwagtron9000 and @chocolaterahne on twitter to keep up to date with future streams.
If you wish to donate anything, or find out more please visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for more information.
Mr Hyde also also managed to catch this spectacular video of a sacrificial Wyvern being doomsdayed by a fleet of titans only two hours into the stream.
Asking Tony if he had any last thoughts, his reply was simply 'dreddit is recruiting.?