25 years ago: The death that launched Truehope

This month marks a significant anniversary for Truehope. It’s been 25 years since we lost our beloved Debbie Stephan.

Losing a loved one is a heartbreaking, tragic experience. It’s particularly difficult when it happens abruptly. It changes your world and affects who you are. It leaves you with more questions than answers.

Debbie was wife to Anthony Stephan, our founder. She struggled for years with the effects bipolar had on her mind and her heart.

Then one day, she was gone.

She had reached a point where she thought there was only one way to take away her pain. The day she ended her life changed ours forever.

We were torn by her death. We had so many questions for which the answers didn’t come. One thing we did know was that her death mirrored that of her father, who also struggled with mental illness. We also knew that some of her children had bipolar, and we hoped that somehow we could find some way to provide the support and strength they needed and that had unfortunately eluded Debbie.

Debbie’s death inspired an impassioned search that led to a promising solution. That solution has since helped over 200,000 people find hope, health, and happiness they thought had been gone forever, giving them new lives.

Not a day goes by that we at Truehope don’t miss our Debbie, but this month, our family will take time to remember the mother, wife, and friend who left us too soon. We take some solace in the fact that her death has led to hundreds of thousands of lives.