On April 29th, 2013, Jake chose to end his life. He succeeded after four prior failed attempts in the previous 12 months. In this the 9th year of sharing his story with CMHA’s annual Mental Health In Motion fundraising event, those on TEAM JAKE continue to believe that their efforts, on Jake’s behalf, will raise awareness and bring solutions to the scourge that mental illness is.
Jake’s medical history included ADHD (age 4), Tourette’s Syndrome (age 7), and Deep Depression (ages 20-21). The former two he handled with aplomb living out a very happy and accomplished childhood and lead up to young adulthood. The latter issue hit him like a sledgehammer after Tommy John surgery performed in December 2011.
Jake was a lovely youngster who made all around him either smile or laugh with his gentle yet quirky nature throughout his lifetime. People were taken by his story of being left in a Ukrainian orphanage in Lviv 5 days after his birth in the year that the Iron Curtain fell. Just shy of his 2nd birthday, he was formally adopted by Jim and Lea Eliopoulos, thus creating the family that Jim and Lea had fought so hard to create.
Between that momentous adoption day and his Tommy John surgery, Jake had parlayed his passion for baseball into being drafted by MLB organizations for 3 straight years including being the top high schooler from this country in 2009. Jake intrigued the baseball profession as a prospect with great possibilities. However, mental illness, the DISEASE, does not discriminate. Jim, Lea, Jake’s siblings Derek and Zoe, 9 year team captain and great friend Grant Grzywniak, and top supporter/friend/fundraiser Susan Mendes de Franca are all honoured to lend Jake’s name and story once again to assist CMHA’s goal to do more in the area of adolescent mental health and to continue to erode the stigma about discussing one’s mental illness/health.
“See the links below for more about the Jake Eliopoulos Story”