Dozens gather for health and wellness event in Davenport to honor man’s legacy

The event was in honor of Demar Bester
Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 12:43 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Othea Stevenson has dealt with a lot of grief in her life.

Five years ago, on August 23, 2016, Stevenson’s son Demar was shot and killed in Rock Island. Demar was only 23-years-old and Crimestoppers are still accepting tips to help solve the case.

Then, since last Spring, Stevenson lost an aunt and uncle to COVID, as well as another relative to suicide.

Through all the grief, Stevenson has worked to make a semi-annual event in Demar’s honor. On Sunday she hosted a health and wellness in Davenport in Demar’s honor. The event focused on mental health, grief, suicide, as well as discussions centered around COVID-19 and the COVID vaccines available.

“The conversation, it changes when you give them a personal experience of what you’ve been through,” Stevenson said.

With the help of Unity Point Health at the event, she’s also strongly advocating for younger people to make sure they get their COVID vaccine.

“Some adults think that their immune system is way up there, and they don’t think that they should take the shot, but I also explained to them and expressed to them ‘Well, you’re around other loved members, what about your grandmother, what about your grandfather, what about your mother and your father, what are you going to do when they catch COVID because they caught it from you because you didn’t get the shot?’” Stevenson said.

“We’re all here in this community to support each other,” Stevenson said, ”If we don’t, then we’re separated from each other and we’re divided, so we need so much more, and that’s all I have.”

If you or a loved one are contemplating suicide, you can always reach out to the National Suicide Hotline at any time at 1-800-273-8255.

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