Mum spreads a blunt message after single punch kills son
CHERYL Thorpe often wears a t-shirt with a blunt message. "Murder destroys, just ask me."
But be prepared if you do, because Cheryl Thorpe's story will break your heart.
The Glenview woman is one of a handful of Sunshine Coast parents to lose a child to homicide.
On May 18, Ms Thorpe will help raise awareness of the impacts of murder and ways to prevent violent acts during Homicide Awareness Day at Kawana Shoppingworld.
Ms Thorpe joined the Sunshine Coast Homicide Victims' Support Group in 1996 following the brutal death of her eldest son Kane Thorpe.
The 16-year-old died after a single punch to the head at a New Year's Eve party at his Brisbane home.
He spent four days in intensive care before the decision was made to turn off his life support and donate his organs. A day later, on January 5, Ms Thorpe received her first phone call from the support group.
"They were a huge support," she said.
"All these families who had lost a loved one to homicide, all with different stories, they knew what I was going through and they helped me get through it.
"I knew I would have to give back to my community the way they had supported me."
Since Kane's death, Ms Thorpe has been instrumental in the One Punch Can Kill campaign, as well as raising awareness against violence through schools.
Ms Thorpe said the awareness day was about spreading the message that violent acts affect everybody.
"The ripple effect is massive," she said.
"If it is not death, it's serious injury, and the families left behind."