Twenty-eight-year-old DeMar DeRozan is having the best season of his career. He is a four-time NBA all-star, an avid community participant, and is considered by many to be a hero and a role model.
However, DeRozan has also struggled with depression. On Feb. 17, he tweeted, “This depression get [sic] the best of me.”
It was a brief admission, but a significant one.
DeRozan famously tweeted to Toronto Raptors fans after the departure of Chris Bosh, “Don’t worry, I got us.”
“We thought it would be a nice to reciprocate the support that he’s given the city,” Syed Hasny told Global News on Tuesday.
Hasny is part of a group that came together on Reddit. They are collecting letters of support for DeRozan. The goal is to put the collection into a book.
Hasny, along with Aleks Sanjevic and Judith Wang, are working collaboratively on the project dubbed ‘Don’t Worry We Got You.’
“The whole city is behind him, as well as his fans,” Wang said on Tuesday.
“We’ve been getting a lot of international letters as well, and we just want him to know that he isn’t alone in this.”
They said they have amassed hundreds of letters so far. DeRozan’s public revelation has also struck a chord with Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love.
Love wrote a story about his own mental health online, largely crediting DeRozan with giving him the courage to come forward.
“I’ve played against DeMar for years, but I never could’ve guessed that he was struggling with anything,” Love wrote.
“It really makes you think about how we are all walking around with experiences and struggles — all kinds of things — and we sometimes think we’re the only ones going through them.”
A GoFundMe page was also set up to help raise money for the book. Hasny told Global News the group initially set their fundraising target at $80, but quickly surpassed that thanks to overwhelming public support.
Hasny, Sanjevic and Wang said the remaining cash will go towards Lupus Canada in honour of DeRozan’s mother, who was diagnosed with the disease.
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