Allendale: Suicide Prevention Leader Succumbs to Colitis

Allendale resident James “Jim” Holleran, who founded a suicide awareness organization following his daughter’s death, has died at the age of 59.

The Madison Holleran Foundation announced the this weekend in a Facebook post: “The past 6 months have been a difficult journey for Jim. He was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and ultimately had to have his colon removed. Since then, he has been in and out of rehabilitation centers trying to regain his strength and recoup his active lifestyle he was so used to.”

The Foundation was launched to raise suicide awareness after Madison Holleran leapt to her death in Philadelphia at 19 years old, in 2014. James Holleran had served as the acting executive vice president of the foundation up until last month, when he stepped aside to focus on his health issues. Holleran was admitted to the hospital last week, and died peacefully at home Friday evening.

A GoFundMe page has been launched by Jim’s son-in-law Scott Bushoven, to assist Jim’s wife Stacey.

The page has garnered donations and condolences from supporters across the U.S. “I donated because after reading the book What Made Maddy Run, where the Holleran family shared their heartache to help prevent tragedies in other families and help young people find resources for where to get help if in need,” one person said.

“It’s incredibly selfless and I imagine difficult to relive such pain when retelling their family’s story. Anything I can give to help them in their time of need right now seems like a small token compared to them sharing their personal story and helping dozens and dozens of people (myself included) through the years.”

“I struggle with anxiety and depression,” another donor added. “Since hearing Madison’s story, EVERY TIME I have a terrible day and contemplate why I remain here, I re-watch her story, and it gives me hope and snaps me out of my dark hole of sadness. The way she is spoken about and her smile has stayed with me for years and I will NEVER forget her name or her purpose.

“Thank you all for sharing your family’s hardest times with strangers and inspiring countless individuals. The number of lives you all (including Jim and Madison) have saved is extraordinary.”

Bushoven adds, “Many people have asked about funeral arrangements and because of COVID, we will not be having one at this time. We plan to have a ceremony of some sort in the late spring when the weather is nicer and COVID isn’t of such concern.

“We would love to have all of you there and we will be posting here when plans are made. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts.”

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