The words “Once in a Lifetime”, although often echoed have taken on new meaning for Tiffany and Christopher Folk since they tragically lost their son, Tristan, to suicide on December 21st, 2017.
Tiffany received an invitation to attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address as the guest of Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23).
The Folk’s are Waterloo residents, but are making the trip to Washington, D.C. Congressman Reed has lined up some meetings with representatives from the National Institute of Mental Health, and the American Institution of Suicidology to discuss suicide awareness and prevention, according to the duo.
Tiffany said on Tuesday, “This isn’t a fight we ever wanted to be in, but here we are, still reeling from the loss of our beautiful son and trying to engage as much as possible to make a positive impact and to not just wage, but to win this war.” She added, “I plan to get as much face time with as many people as possible, though my heart is broken, there is so much work to be done. I have a responsibility and a mission, in my son Tristan’s name, to raise awareness and save lives.”
Tristan Folk was a freshman attending RIT in his first semester. He had also just received his Congressional Nomination and was finalizing his applications to the Service Academies at the time of his passing.
Tiffany and Christopher Folk are in the process of forming two entities: (1) A public charity (501 (c)(3)) to engage in suicide awareness and prevention, initially targeting high-performing youth during the transitional years between high school, college and the workforce; and (2) A lobbying entity (501 (c)(4)) to influence legislation targeting institutions of higher learning with respect to identification and reporting of at-risk situations.
Watch the State of the Union Address LIVE below: