COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - On Friday night, a virtual concert in Columbia benefiting Hilinski’s Hope takes place.
It features the band Heart 'N Soul and begins at 7 p.m. The heart of the event centers around the purpose of the foundation.
“We turned our grief into helping others soon after he passed,” said Kym Hilinski.
Kym Hilinski will always be Tyler’s mom. He’s a former college quarterback who died by suicide in January 2018.
Tyler’s death left Gamecock quarterback Ryan Hilinski without his best friend.
“I think nobody knows how difficult it is to lose a brother that way unless you’ve experienced it,” Ryan’s dad Mark Hilinski said. “I’m just incredibly proud of how resilient he continues to be. Always trying to make himself better so he can be the best person he possibly can.”
Tyler’s legacy lives on through Ryan and the Hilinski Hope foundation created by his parents, Mark and Kym. A charitable mission that helps colleges and universities save lives by scaling mental wellness programs for student-athletes.
“We didn’t know that Tyler was struggling,” said Kym. "We didn’t know that he was suffering with depression or anxiety.
She wondered how many others were out there afraid to ask for help. So, the love for their son inspired this mission. She calls it a wonderful surprise to see the foundation grow to help student-athletes.
“The love that we have for our son is very strong,” added Kym. “It’s powerful. Tyler’s story has touched so many people.”
Mark’s grateful Hilinski’s Hope has had a positive impact in its two years. Still, the loss of Tyler weighs heavy on his heart.
“Tying Tyler to it is still stuff,” said Mark. “Sadly, we’d trade it all for another 30 seconds with that kid. Excited for the kids that are getting the help that they need. There’s real satisfaction there.”
You can watch the virtual concert at the Koger Center for the Arts on their Facebook Page or the Hilinski’s Hope Facebook Page. And you can also visit Hilinskishope.org to donate and learn more information.