Austin Lynn Oney was twenty - one years old when he died by suicide on April 21, 2018.
Austin truly loved life and never met a stranger; he wore a smile daily and worked hard to encourage anyone came into contact with to wear one just the same. No matter the place or circumstance, you could count on Austin to not only be present theoretically, but also, literally. He never failed to show up for his family and friends with a BIG O hug to lift you off of your feet!
Austin was an active 4H member with not only various livestock projects, but within leadership as well in his local chapters in Needville, Texas and Fort Bend County. In conjunction with his local 4H activity, Austin was a mentor at the Mission Possible Camp for five years; this camp helps children with disabilities focus on their abilities through various activities. Austin began his career in oil and gas as a pipeline technician and dreamed of one day owning the family company: McDonald Oilfield Operations.
Austin was an active football play from age four to his sophomore year of high school; unfortunately, his time playing on the field came to an end after receiving his fourth level three concussion and was ultimately diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Shortly after this diagnosis, Austin began his struggle with severe depression. Many of his friends and family were unaware of his silent struggle, because, as previously mentioned, Austin was a light; the life of the party, and one to always make sure you were on the receiving end of a smile.
It's believed that Austin suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, more commonly known as CTE; this is a condition that results from repeated head traumas and results in brain degeneration. Upon Austins passing, his family worked hard to have the proper testing performed to conclude this by going so far as to send his brain to Boston University; unfortunately, after over a year of fighting this battle, it was decided that there was not enough of a sample size provided from the local coroners office to medically diagnose and confirm Austin was suffering from CTE.
The goal of this foundation is to cultivate a space where people can remember Austin as he was: a true light and gift to anyone who knew him. While remembering Austin, this foundation will also provide a platform to educate those on the stigma that surrounds mental health and serve as a resource to those who are searching for more information surrounding mental health as whole, suicide, and CTE.