Man walks 166 miles across Tucson, hopes to spread suicide awareness

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 6:33 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Be kind and help when you can; these are lessons Zackary Harrington says he lives by every day. It’s also what stays on his mind during his 166-mile trek across Tucson to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

After Harrington’s cousin did a 22-mile trek three years ago to raise awareness for veterans who died by suicide, Harrington and his brother wanted to do the same.

Sadly, Harrington’s cousin took his own life; years later, so did his brother.

“In 2021, my brother committed suicide. So, he wasn’t able to do those miles with me, and so the last year or so here, I’ve been struggling with it,” he said.

“I decided at the beginning of the year I’m going to do those miles.”

Harrington’s journey started in Picture Rocks, then he made his way to central Tucson before hitting Vail and ultimately climbing to the top of Mt. Lemmon.

Today, he’s hit 120 miles.

But Zackary isn’t just walking. At each mile, he places a stone to a resting spot, each with the name of someone who died by suicide.

“I find myself talking to the rocks, and then at the end of the mile, I thank them for coming with me and for their help. If they were in the military or law enforcement, I thank them for their service,” Farrington said.

“I put the rock down, and if I know the person or whoever that I can directly link to, I usually send a picture or something to them.”

The walk extends beyond suicide awareness.

Harrington is collecting and donating funds for nonprofits like Sweet Mercies Rescue, Project K9 Hero and DS Rescue.

And each step of the way, Harrington holds his brother’s legacy with him.

“Creating this good thing where it’s outside of suicides; giving to the rescue horses who are struggling with depression because of equine therapies, and these horses are going to be put to slaughter a lot of times. And the retired service dogs who also have PTSD, and struggling and they’re not getting the help they need, and I could give that to my brother.”

As he takes on the next 46 miles, Harrington says being kind to everyone can go a long way and maybe even save a life.

“Saying thank you, look at somebody in the eyes, tell them how was their day, or it was nice to see you.”

To donate to one of the non-profits, click here.

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