#LIFESaver Families

#LIFESaver Families Profile: Sarah Shulze

What is your loved one’s full name: 
Sarah Shulze

What was their date of birth & their age at the time of their passing?
October 1, 2000; 21 years-old

Tell us about your loved one: What five adjectives best describe the positive they brought to this world, that now shines on in how they impacted you and all those they touched?
Adventurous – Sarah loved to explore the world around her and travel to new cities and countries with a curiosity about other people and cultures.

Dedicated – Sarah was a very driven and hard-working student and athlete who poured everything into her sport, studies, and community. She was committed to many charitable causes, student government, and her teams.

Loyal – Sarah was extremely loyal to her sisters, parents, larger family, friends, and teammates. Her loyalty often was seen in her advocacy for those close to her or even her devotion to the causes she believed in. She never wanted to disappoint those around her to who she was fiercely loyal and supportive.

Beautiful – Sarah had an incredible and alluring beauty to her spirit that was evident to all who knew her. She was also a tall, blonde, athletic force of nature who did not realize how stunningly gorgeous she was and often struggled to see her own beauty.

Humorous – Sarah had a wicked sense of humor and could be witty and sarcastic while also being goofy,  whimsical, and self-deprecating, making fun of her clumsiness or awkwardness.


To the extent that you feel comfortable, please tell us what you believe were the circumstances/contributing factors around your loved one’s passing.
We’ve come to learn Sarah had battled anxiety for some time and kept much of that struggle to herself.  In college she did reach out to counseling for some help dealing with the pressures and anxiety of being a very high achieving athlete and student, as a young adult away at school. She only shared with her parents that she was talking to a counselor but was not willing to share with her family and sisters about the extent of her mental health struggle and some of the burn-out she was experiencing as a student-athlete. She was also not comfortable discussing some of her personal relationship struggles and the anxiety that was creating on top of everything else until she found herself in a major crisis.  When that crisis became overwhelming she did not have the tools, or resources to navigate the situation.

What did you as a family wish you knew more about this topic in the year’s leading up to your loss?
Sadly, as a family we wish we had known more about her own struggles, and had known more about what to potentially look for leading up to her crisis. We certainly wish we maybe could have recognized signs that her anxiety and struggles were more severe, allowing us to see how much she was suffering in silence

Why did your family decide to go public about your loss, and why are you choosing to be so selfless in putting their/your story out there for others?

We chose to start a foundation in her name to carry on her legacy as a power for good in the community. The foundation reflects causes important to Sarah that she would want to be continued. As parents we are sharing her story to help other young people seek the mental health resources that might provide them assistance and to help other families to be aware of the struggles, especially for student-athletes. Sharing the story also provides us with some purpose to find some positive impact and healing coming from a terrible tragedy.

What are the perceptions about suicide you would like your loved one’s story to help change?

We hope that by talking about her story and bringing awareness, open conversations can be had without the stigma that causes many to suffer in silence.  Working to prevent suicide requires talking about the issue and not avoiding the subject as difficult as it is at times.  Speaking out will let others know they are not alone. 

Links and/or descriptions to any resources you would like to drive people to:

website: www.sarahshulzefoundation.org

Instagram: @sarahshulzefoundation


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