Ending the Silence
It is with a heavy heart Excel NW shares a tremendous loss to our volleyball family. On September 21, 2020, one of our athletes, London Bruns, took her own life. She was just 13 years old. London a beloved student at View Ridge Middle School, was a member of our 14 Silver team.
London was a bright light in her family’s lives. She was always happy and showed no signs of depression, anxiety or anything that would lead her family to believe that she was struggling.
As a member of our 14 Silver, London suffered a season ending injury at her first tournament. However, that injury did not stop her from being at every practice and every tournament supporting her team. Her coach’s, Issac Doyle and Hillary DeVore note her unwavering commitment to her team and desire to be a part of something bigger than herself. Her smile and positive spirit on the sidelines were important to the special bond, dynamic and the ultimate success of her team. She fully embodied the meaning and spirit of the ultimate teammate.
To honor London’s life, we are asking that you do two things:
First, take the time with your own children to talk about suicide and mental health. Dig into their lives and really know what is going on. It is okay to be annoying. Be comfortable being involved in their lives and asking uncomfortable questions that may help them. Share London’s story. From the tragic loss of London, possibly someone else can be saved and helped.
Second, London's parents John and Heather have asked for donations to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness; where a fund has been created in honor of London. This is something we can do as a community to bring resources and hopefully more awareness to those struggling with mental illness. Here’s the link: https://namiswwa.org/donate_nami_sw_wa/ Please join Excel in making a donation in London’s name.
London will be the face of NAMI's "Ending the Silence" Campaign. Please share London’s story.
In 2018, suicide was the second leading cause of death in children and young people ages 10-24. Between 2007 and 2017 suicide rates tripled in 10-14 year-olds. Our kids are living in an unprecedented time, between growing up with social media (that a lot of us did not have as kids), to the drastic isolation and having their worlds turned upside down by the pandemic. This can create a whole new set of emotions that include increased feelings of loneliness and helplessness.
Please commit to check in’s with your children and family. Do it for London.
We encourage you to seek help if you or someone you know is depressed or hurting.
We extend our deepest condolences to London’s family, collection of friends, teammates and coaches. Our hope in this moment, is for each of you to know that we can lean on each other for strength and to grieve this tremendous loss.
*Shared with permission of London’s parents John Bruns and Heather Wendling.
WE ARE EXCEL NW
Excel NW is the premier volleyball club in SW Washington. We strive to provide the best training for volleyball players in the Columbia Empire Region. This includes nationally recognized teams as well as highly ranked regional teams. Excel NW places an emphasis on a safe environment for our players to improve their individual volleyball skills as well as learn valuable life skills. We value our players becoming community leaders, facing and overcoming challenges, working with teammates, competing at a high level with sportsmanship, always being a team player, while building their confidence and self-esteem. We are a competitive club, always pushing the players to be better on and off the court. Excel stresses that success is only achieved through hard work and perseverance, with no short cuts.