Heartbroken mum's mission to save bullied teens
MICHELLE Pearson is living every parents nightmare.
She had to say goodbye to her son Kodi before he even had the chance to live a long and full life.
Kodi Pearson, aged 14, was bullied at school and online.
The constant torment led him to take his own life in the early hours of July 11, 2016.
That was meant to be the first day of term three, but feeling like he couldn't face those who were hurting him, he made a decision which forever changed the lives of his loved ones.
His shattered family are now on a mission to share with schools, sporting clubs and families the deadly consequences of bullying.
"My husband and I weren't aware of what was happening," Mrs Pearson said.
"We didn't know the full extent until we found him and read his letter.
"He left a two page letter. He wanted everyone to know how bad bullying was.
"Because we haven't got Kodi here with us now, we are trying to spread his message."
When she talks to people about the heartache her family went through, and still continue to experience every day, Mrs Pearson talks fondly of a young boy "who wore his heart on his sleeve".
"He was a beautiful caring boy. He was very popular, sporty and musical. He jammed on his guitar every day," Mrs Pearson said.
"He loved his family and the beach.
"He also loved his motorbikes and animals."
Mrs Pearson and her family will be visiting Ipswich on Saturday, December 8, where they will be hosting a Bootcamp Against Bullying event at the Ipswich Health and Performance Centre, located at 53 Briggs Rd, Raceview.
"Exercise was a very important part of my grief process," Mrs Pearson said.
"We thought this would be a great way to get the community along to spread Kodi's Message, help other parents start the conversation with their kids, and give those kids who are currently being bullied the strength to speak out."
Pre-registration is essential, and can be done by emailing email@example.com. On the day, registration opens at 6.30am before the bootcamp runs from 7-8am.
Afterwards there will be a barbecue breakfast where everyone can talk and mingle.
The cost is $25 per person which includes participation in the bootcamp, a pair of Kodi's Message socks and the barbecue breakfast.
If you would like to head along but not not be involved in the bootcamp, it is $15 per person and includes socks and the breakfast.
Mrs Pearson said she has visited a number of schools in the Ipswich region to share Kodi's Message, and encouraged other schools to reach out.
If you would like Michelle to visit your school, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can visit www.kodis message.com.au.
If you or someone you know needs help, phone Lifeline on 131114.