WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A good spirit, a bright personality in a room, and as clean a smile as they come. Remington Hope Jr., 20, was known for his go-get-it attitude and love of life.
“She’s just the color yellow as a person, the brightest person, the happiest person in every room,” said friend Kendyl Johnson.
“He was a good kid all around,” said Remington’s mother Amy Young. “If someone is being abused, it is the person you know, who supports him. He was anybody.”
“He’s such a bright, happy, beautiful heart,” said family friend Carmen Johnson.
Behind the smile and positivity Remington, known to many as Remi, was fighting a dark battle, a battle that would eventually take his life.
Remington Young – The power-tumbler who could
Remi was born in Aug. 3, 2001. Remi’s mother, Amy, said her lucky daughter was immediately drawn to cheerleading. Read also : Captain Shreve’s Madison Hicks tops week 5 in Shreveport Times Athlete of the Week voting.
“He said, ‘Mom, I want to fall,’ so we took him to gymnastics,” said Amy. “He started there when he was two years old, and he immediately took off. They called him ‘the drum of power.'”
Amy said Remi was able to hold her hands back before kindergarten. She started cheering and competing at Cheer Eclipse at age 5.
“It would eat at him, and at one point, he was on two teams, two competing teams,” Amy said.
Collin Lee and Kendyl have competed against Remi on Cheer Eclipse for nearly 10 years.
“I remember at recess he would fall, and he was talented at a young age. “He knew how to fly, he knew how to fall, he was amazing, and I was inspired by him,” said Collin.
“He was just a very talented person. I am older than him, but I remember growing up, I just wanted to be like Remi when I grew up,” said Kendyl.
Kendyl, Collin, and Remi then went to prom at Maize High School together.
“He is the person who made me the person and athlete I am today. I wouldn’t be here without him. I wouldn’t be as talented without him,” Collin said.
Following Maize High, Remi took his pride and fall skills to the University of Kansas (KU).
“His freshman year, he was the first to make the national team,” Amy said. “That was amazing. She wanted to be a KU cheerleader since I can remember. “
Shining bright, yet fighting a dark battle
By her sophomore year, Remi was named captain of the KU cheerleading squad, a title voted on by her teammates. From the outside looking in, it seemed that Remi had it. This may interest you : See: The Best Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Swimsuit Photos. He excelled in school and in the cheerleading squad, but according to his mother and close friends, Remi was struggling.
“One minute he’s in front of, you know, 60,000 people cheering for the KU football team and then the next minute he’s in bed and can’t get out for three days,” Amy said.
Amy said Remi began dealing with stress and anxiety leading up to her freshman year of college. After his first year at KU, Remi attempted suicide. Not long after, Amy said Remi and her doctors made a plan for her. He was taking medication and seeing a doctor regularly.
“I was lucky enough to see what happens when you take medication and what happens when you don’t.” There was a huge difference [between] her freshman and sophomore years when she was working on her plans with her therapist and psychologist and everything she had to be doing,” Amy explained.
Remi’s mental health took a turn during her junior year when she broke her leg.
“He was hurt. Like seeing her rise to the top with her grades and having a hard time,” Amy said.
Remi quickly lost her spot on the KU cheer squad due to poor grades.
“I remember getting a call, and he was yelling, and it made me feel scared because of the past,” said Taylor Cates, Remi’s younger roommate.
Taylor said Remi eventually picked herself up and was determined to make the KU cheer squad in the spring. However, Taylor said she could tell something was off with her best friend before the trial in May.
“From February to April, he was doing really well and when it got closer to the test, I’d say he was really worried and sad. He stayed in his room most of the time,” Taylor explained.
Taylor said Remi told her he stopped seeing his therapist because of the out-of-pocket cost, and his doctors lowered his medication.
“I tried, and I tried to get him to go. ‘I will help you. “Anything you want me to do, you have to let me know,” said Taylor.
“I think for Remi, it wasn’t that he didn’t want help. It was that the help he was getting was very expensive,” said longtime friend Ryley Elsea.
Amy thought Remi was getting free help on campus. He later found out that it wasn’t. In May, Remi did not make the 2022 KU cheer team.
Amy remembers when she heard the news.
“He said, ‘I’m done with KU. I can’t be here. All I know is cheerleaders. I don’t want to be here anymore, mom.’ I said, ‘Okay,’ and so I put him on the next plane, and he got here,” Amy said.
Following Taylor’s finals and graduation, Remi went to Texas to visit her mother.
“The last thing he said to me was, ‘give me one last big hug before I go,'” Taylor said.
A few days later, Remi, a bright light loved by many, died by suicide.
“I don’t want another parent, another friend, anyone to ever feel this pain. The problem of traveling and looking for someone you love all over the world is gone,” said Amy.
News of Remi’s death quickly spread, affecting his friends, family, and strangers.
“I felt guilty that I didn’t know the magnitude of what was happening or that I didn’t reach out to him after he didn’t make the cheer team. I just wish I could put my shame and embarrassment aside and go to him,” said Kendyl.
“Feelings. I couldn’t hear anything. I had to leave home. I spent most of this night outside by the lake. Sadness for him, his family, and his friends, regrets. Wish I could have done more,” Lee said.
Turning tragedy into a mental health mission: ‘Love Like Remi’
Following Remi’s death, Amy set out on a mission to create change. This may interest you : How did Kyler Murray’s big contract affect Jalen Hurts and the Eagles? | Crowd Birds. Using inspiration from her daughter, she and several others have donated their time and talent to ‘Love Like Remi’, a recent initiative supporting student-athletes and mental health.
“We wanted to do something in his name. We’re going to help student-athletes with mental health and suicide prevention, whatever we can to do that. We hope to get scholarships in his name,” said Amy.
As part of the nonprofit, Amy is sharing Remi’s story with local schools and colleges.
“I think that’s a great message for parents, for students, for student-athletes, you know, to ask for help and go get it. It works. I saw it, and when he wasn’t getting help, that’s when it started happening,” Amy said.
Some of Remi’s friends have also created ‘Love Like Remi’ pay-it-forward cards. Whether it’s in line at the grocery store or in a coffee shop, the goal is to impact a stranger’s life in a positive way. Often the cards are accompanied by a gift card.
Carmen, Remi’s second mother, shared cards with people near and far. One of his most memorable encounters was with a man at the airport in the capital of our country.
“There is an absolute stranger in Washington D.C. who knows Remington now and knows his story and can shine his light in that part of the world,” said Carmen.
Mental Health Resources
Whether it’s for a family member, friend, co-worker, or yourself, there is help out there for anyone who needs help with mental health.