Warren native Kim Gross discovered Mind Over Matter after her daughter-in-law, Karen Gross, tragically committed suicide in January 2009. Karen was only 26. “I’m sure it was an undiagnosed mental illness,” Kim says. Kim and her family founded “Team K-Rock,” in honor of Karen’s life. “The race was the perfect thing for us to latch onto during that very difficult time. It was so comforting to have everyone back together again to celebrate her life in such a positive way.”
Kim didn’t stop there. She also founded her own nonprofit organization, Forget-Me-Not, a thrift store in Lincoln Park, MI that donates all proceeds to suicide prevention and mental health awareness efforts. “All proceeds go to those in need of support while struggling with suicide or mental health,” she says. “Not only do we spread awareness, we offer resources for counseling, support groups, or simply a shoulder to lean on.”
Since their first appearance with 17 participants in 2009, Team K-Rock has had a phenomenal showing of participants every year and has evolved to also memorialize their nephew, Bradley Rozell. Team K Rock more than doubled their initial participation and went on to win the MOM team participation challenge four years in a row from 2009-2012. “It is important to all of our team members to continue to participate year after year so we can hold onto the memories we shared with our loved ones and continue to support mental health awareness and suicide prevention,” says Stephanie Gross, Kim’s daughter.
In years past, family members have traveled from as far as Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York to participate. Also, Joe Sedlak, the brother of the late Karen, has come in second place in the race between 2011-2013. After the race, Team K Rock gets together for a big family barbeque. “We love to sit around with others and share memories,” says Kim.