‘It’s been quite the journey’: Local father jumps rope across country for son who lost life to suicide

Daryl Rosenberger says he wanted to bring awareness to mental illness and suicide

A local man who has been jumping rope across the country to raise awareness for those who have taken their own lives jumped his last mile Saturday in Jacksonville Beach. Daryl Rosenberger said his efforts were all in honor of his son, Drew, who took his own life in October 2020. Drew was only 30 years old. He suffered from bipolar disorder.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – A local man who has been jumping rope across the country to raise awareness for those who have taken their own lives jumped his last mile Saturday in Jacksonville Beach.

Daryl Rosenberger said his efforts were all in honor of his son, Drew, who took his own life in October 2020. Drew was only 30 years old. He suffered from bipolar disorder.

Rosenberger said ever since he lost his son, he’s been wanting to make a difference and bring awareness to mental illness and suicide.

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He decided to jump rope from California to Florida -- posting about his journey on TikTok.

Rosenberger finally made his way back to Jacksonville and his friends put on an event Saturday to bring awareness to his journey and its mission

There was music, food and mental health advocates available -- with everyone celebrating Rosenberger’s last mile jumping rope. Signs reading “Choose Life” were a reminder for those suffering to not give up.

“When you lose a son or daughter, it puts a hole in your heart. You just try to cope with it and this is the best way I knew how to cope with it was try to give back,” Rosenberger said. “It’s been quite the journey.”

Rosenberger said he plans to have these events every year to bring awareness to mental health issues and let people know they’re not alone.

Important numbers

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 (TALK); 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Text TALK to 741741 (suicide)
  • Text HOME to 741741 (crisis)
  • Children Home Society’s Family Support: Warm Line 1-888-733-6303 (chslistens.com)
  • United Way: Dial 211 for 24-hour crisis intervention and suicide prevention
  • The Vinson Foundation: Helping Families Coping with Suicide Loss (https://thevinsonfoundation.org/)
  • Heretomorrow: Helpline in Neptune Beach available Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. -- (904) 372-9087 (heretomorrow.org)
  • LSF Health Systems: 24/7 ACCESS TO CARE LINE: (877) 229-9098 (https://www.lsfhealthsystems.org/)

About the Author:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.