OREGON STATE VOLLEYBALL STAR A BRAVE VOICE TO COMBAT MENTAL ILLNESS

May 9, 2017, published on espnW.com: http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/19337429/oregon-state-beavers-volleyball-player-lanesha-reagan-asks-athletes-help-combat-mental-illness

Madison Holleran. All Lanesha Reagan could think about was Madison Holleran, the University of Pennsylvania track athlete.

Reagan, Oregon State volleyball’s 5-foot-10 starting outside hitter, known for her power and pogo-stick bounce, lay in her bed in her freshman dorm and combed through Holleran’s story. Madison seemed to be gifted, kind, competitive. A budding track star, a daughter, a friend. Even a banana-and-peanut-butter aficionado. Few knew she struggled with depression and the pressures of social media.

On Jan. 17, 2014, Holleran leaped off the ninth level of a parking garage in Philadelphia. She died at 19.

Reagan shivered. Images of her own life swirled around her head: years of masking her pain, years of blocking out her shame, years of wishing she inhabited a body other than her own.

“That honestly could have been me,” Reagan said. “If things would have been different … I have no doubt in my mind that that could have been me.” (READ FULL STORY HERE).

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About Mirin Fader

Mirin Fader is a sports writer living in Los Angeles. She can be reached on Twitter @MirinFader.

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