ISHPEMING — The highly anticipated documentary ‘Do It For Daniel’ premieres this Friday at the W.C. Peterson Auditorium at Ishpeming High School. ABC 10 has an eye–opening look at the strength it took to start a dialogue about depression and anxiety in this week’s ABC 10 Feature.
“When he was first diagnosed, when he came forward as a junior, we had to decide then: Are we going to hide it because of the stigma?” said Jeff Olson, Daniel’s father.
And so it was, their story became public knowledge. Jeff Olson, the head coach of the Ishpeming Hematites. Daniel Olson, his son, the star quarterback. Intertwined forever, by more than familial ties.
“And then when he did complete suicide,” said Olson. “Do you hide that?”
The answer was a resounding ‘no’. Daniel’s battle with depression has been carried forward on a much larger front.
“It helps us grieve,” said Olson. “It helps us heal knowing that we’re helping people. So now, let’s educated people. Let’s treat people that suffer from some type of mental illness.”
In 2010, Daniel Olson’s Hematites came up just short in the state championship game. A year later, Daniel took his own life. Now, his story is being turned into a documentary. With Olson’s sister, Jaime, doing the narration.
“Narrating helps me more than anything else because it’s like I get to tell my brother’s story,” said Jaime Olson. “So, I feel a lot closer to the whole situation, I guess.”
The documentary producers, in town for the big premiere, were close to the situation, too.
“We did this in the first place because our daughter was diagnosed in 2011,” said producer Kammi Berens. “And when we sat down with coach and sally at the McDonald’s to meet them for the first time, they poured out their hearts about their son and we poured out our hearts about our daughter.”
“Basically, our hope for this documentary is that people will be able to watch this and use it as a tool to start a dialogue about anxiety, depression, and suicide,” said co-producer Michael Berens.
But the documentary’s release is just the beginning.
“Hopefully, some big name will pick it up, show it in large market areas,” said Jeff Olson. “Then we want to get it into every high school in the country.”
The people behind the film hope to educate, distort the stigma, and confront the issue head–on. His family is doing it for Daniel – hoping Daniel’s story will do it for the world.
The documentary premieres August 12th at seven p.m. and tickets are twenty dollars each. The premiere takes place at the W.C. Peterson Auditorium at Ishpeming High School.
ISHPEMING — Thursday on ABC 10, Charlie Edward talks to the family and filmmakers behind the documentary ‘Do it for Daniel.‘
On July 19, 2012, Daniel Olson ended his life after a lengthy battle with depression. Outside his family, few people knew of Daniel’s suffering with night terrors, crippling anxiety, insomnia and suicidal thoughts.
The Do It For Daniel film tells the incredible story of Daniel and how the community of Ishpeming through the Hematite football team rallied to restore hope for all who suffer from this medical illness.
Tune in Thursday for an in depth story about Daniel Olson and the film that hopes to educate people about his life, and prevent future suicides. Our ‘Do it For Daniel’ special airs at 5:30 p.m. on ABC 10.