It’s been ten years since a local mother lost her teen daughter to suicide. A life cut short after vicious cyberbullying.
Since then, Tina Meier has dedicated her life to traveling the country and sharing her heart-wrenching story. It’s her mission to put a stop to the cruel behavior of bullying, that cost her everything.
Tina recalled that painful day 10 years ago, "Oct. 16 is the weekend Megan took her own life."
For Tina Meier, talking about her life’s most painful experience, has become her life's purpose.
"It’s really how I breathe and how I function is through this foundation knowing that out of a tragedy that you can do something good," said Tina.
Tina started the Megan Meier Foundation one year after her 13-year-old daughter ended her life.
Her suicide followed weeks of cruel bullying online.
"The things is, if they were doing this face to face, these negative sarcastic cruel things that they say, they would not say in that tone or that way," explained Tina.
It's been ten years since Tina lost her daughter. She's traveled to 35 states and shared Megan’s story thousands of times.
"It started because of my daughter Megan, I know she’s with me every day pushing me forward. But it’s seeing all of the miraculous things around it that are sometimes breathtaking," said Tina.
In the summer of 2016, The Megan Meier Foundation opened a resource center. It’s a safe, uplifting place where kids can come and talk through their problems.
“You know it’s about these kids who have struggled but now are able to put something positive together to inspire other kids," explained Tina.
It’s where Tina lets kids and parents know, you are not alone in this.
"It’s been extremely gratifying seeing these kids coming in and families coming in struggling and seeing them walk out of here knowing that people do care. That there is help, that they can learn different techniques and coping skills to be able to work through these issues. So, that there not always feeling like they're victimized. They can start learning how to own their story and what they're going through," said Tina.
One of the best parts about the resource center is the licensed therapist on hand to meet with kids and their parents free of charge. The Foundation was able to secure the therapist through a state funded grant.
13-year-old Rachel McCormick is one of the center's success stories.
Her mom Angela will never forget the day her daughter said something no parent ever wants to hear.
"It was February of 2012, she walked into the bedroom and said mommy I don’t want to live anymore, I want to live in heaven," recalled Angela.
That was four years ago. Today, Rachel is a happy teenager looking to help other kids who've been bullied like herself. She’s working on building an interactive website that will help kids learn about the effects of bullying.
"Now I can look back and I can say that’s in the past and I’m trying to work past it and I’m trying to go through it because I know that while in sixth grade I was very fragile. Now, I’m getting stronger and I’m going to work past it all and that's what I’m really working towards," said Rachel.
For more information on the Megan Meier Foundation visit their website.