Photo Courtesy Bell Family

Jadin Bell

LaGrande's Joe Bell has begun a walk across the United States in memory of his son. 15 -year-old Jadin Bell committed suicide in February, after telling school officials he'd been bullied for being openly gay.

Joe Bell says he came to the idea of going on the road shortly after he lost Jadin. The boy hanged himself, and was taken to a Portland hospital where he later died.

"After coming back from Doernbecher," Bell says, was laying in my bed, wanting to die. Having that feeling of emptiness. I knew I could not."

Courtesy Bell Family

Jadin Bell and his cheerleading team.

Bell has another son and a daughter. He wanted to get through it for them. So how far, he wondered, would he have to travel to walk through his feelings. "So I decided I needed to walk across the United States."

Bell started out after a community pancake breakfast in LaGrande.

Courtesy Bell Family

Jadin Bell and a friend.

He hopes to walk eight hours a day, with a route taking him through Idaho, Wyoming, Kansas, and east, ending in New York City. He'll push a cart filled with essentials, camping some nights, catching hotels when possible.

Bell says along the way, he'll talk to as many people as he can about raising kids to understand difference, and raising money for the non-profit founded in Jadin Bell's name.

Joe Bell is scheduled to appear on Think Out Loud Tuesday.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.