John Trautwein, a former college pitcher at Northwestern who made it through the minor leagues and eventually earned a spot in the Major Leagues with the Boston Red Sox, spoke at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum on April 16, 2018.

However, his message, titled "Teammates For Life," will not focus on his successful career in baseball, or his many achievements in business. Instead, Trautwein's message will center on the loss of his son Will to suicide.

In October of 2010, Will, a freshman lacrosse player at Northview High School in Johns Creek, Ga., took his own life. To those who knew Will, including his family, he had everything he could possibly want. He was a self-taught guitar player and the leader of a band. He had friends, good grades, and a close-knit family.

Following Will's death, John and his wife Susie struggled to comprehend what could cause such a tragic event.

"We were so stunned by our son's suicide," Trautwein told USA TODAY Sports. "We thought he was perfect; a happy, big, strong, successful teen. He was successful in all walks of life, in athletics, music, school. The idea he had a mental illness never entered our minds or his siblings' minds."

John and his wife were able to turn their grief into a message of hope and founded the Will To Live Foundation. The Foundation builds on the emotional teamwork that exists among teenagers and uses the same principles that drives those to achieve success in sports to achieve the same success in all walks of life.

John told USA TODAY, "We wanted to get kids more comfortable talking about this, and all my teammates, the godfathers to my children and my groomsmen, they all traveled from all over the country to be with me in my time of need," he said. "We wanted to create something that was for the kids and by the kids, and we wanted them to know that they already had the best teammates who they would share their successes with and their downtimes with."

John has spoken around the country, delivering a message that emphasizes the need to let teens express their frustrations and difficulties with their own lives. He has detailed his message to teens and parents in his book, "My Living Will: A Father's Story of Loss and Hope."

Trautwein was a successful college pitcher at Northwestern from 1981-84, working under the tutelage of head coach Ron Wellman, now the athletic director at Wake Forest. Wellman went 180-97-4 in his five seasons at Northwestern including leading the Wildcats to their most successful season in school history, a 44-18-1 mark in 1984. Trautwein won 22 games as a Wildcat and was an All-Big 10 Tournament selection.

For more information on the Will to Live Foundation, visit will-to-live.org.

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