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Western Pennsylvania has a strong tradition of neighborhood, personal and community commitment. Our pride in pulling together goes far beyond supporting our deep-rooted sports teams. 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference honors the individuals that are making a difference in people's lives on the ground level and reminding us we are all truly a part of each other's lives.This special series, supported by UPMC, will highlight, honor and celebrate Western Pennsylvanians who are unsung heroes daring to make a difference to others in our community.00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770c8000000000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770ca000000000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770cc000090.5 WESA PA listening area counties:Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, Westmoreland, Butler, Armstrong, Cambria, Somerset, Bedford, Fayette, Indiana00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770cd0000This project is made possible by a generous contribution from UPMC.

Ian Cummins, Walking Across America For Mental Health Awareness

Debbi Casini Klein
90.5 WESA

Read and listen to a story about Ian Cummins as part of a series honoring the individuals who make a difference in people’s lives: 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference.

Ian Cummins and his younger brother Ryan grew up in a loving family in Dormont and had a very normal childhood. They were very close and had a lot of fun together. But things changed as Ryan grew older — during his sophomore year in high school, the family noticed that Ryan was struggling mentally.

Sadly, despite his family’s valiant efforts to get him help, Ryan took his life a year ago at the age of 20.

The devastation of his brothers’ suicide caused Ian to go on a mission to shed light on mental illness and the stigma still associated with suicide. He created the website www.Ianwalksamerica.org and decided to walk across the country for six months, beginning on March 1, starting in Virginia Beach, crossing nine states, averaging 20–30 miles a day and ending in San Francisco on Aug. 30.