Chance Rides president Mike Chance dies following battle with depression

Posted Thursday, April 21, 2016 10:16 AM | Contributed by Jeff

According to a statement by Chance Rides CEO Dick Chance, his son Mike died at the age of 42. The statement says:

“Yesterday our family and company suffered a tremendous loss. Our son and company president Mike Chance lost his long‐term and well‐fought battle with depression. Mike had suffered from this tough disease for years and had faithfully sought treatment and relief from its effects. Like any other disease that is not yet well understood, depression is often difficult to successfully treat.

We are proud of Mike for bravely fighting this disease for years while living a full and rich life as a wonderful husband and father, son, grandson, brother, friend and a great company leader. He was a triathlete who competed alongside friends in Iron Man triathlons across the country.

Mike valiantly fought this disease while focusing on doing great work together with our employees so the fact that he had this disease will come as a surprise to many who knew him.

Just as with other diseases that take our loved ones too early, our family’s hope is that research into the treatment for depression will advance. And that those seeking relief from this disease will find a path to successful treatment.”

Mike Chance died Tuesday, April 19 at age 42. Service arrangements and memorials are pending. Chance Rides announced the news to employees this morning and is offering ongoing grief counseling for its 100 employees.

Friday, April 22, 2016 7:56 AM
Jeff's avatar

They don't call it out, but I have to assume that this was suicide. NYT has an interesting report about research showing a dramatic increase in the US suicide rate. It's unfortunate that we really don't treat mental health as a "thing" to look after.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, April 22, 2016 8:05 AM

If you look at all the changes in terms of what society can talk about today that we never talked about decades ago and mental illness is still something we tend to ignore and makes us uncomfortable. Very sad. And costly.

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Friday, April 22, 2016 8:24 AM

But doesn't our society not only accept, but actually embrace a lot of mental illness now? We are told told we have to be 'understanding' and 'tolerant,' but even the idea that there is such a thing as "right-thinking" is dismissed and ridiculed. Society would have to agree on a set of boundaries for what is mentally healthy and what isn't before we could treat mental illness as a "thing." Unfortunately, in a world where each person is encouraged to develop their own sense of right and wrong, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

It was very sad to hear about Mike. We have no way of knowing what contributed to his depression, but I'm sure he had a lot of pressure to perform on the platform he was given. May his family find peace during this horrendously difficult time.

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Friday, April 22, 2016 8:32 AM
Jeff's avatar

I think you're making a total strawman argument. This isn't about anyone telling you or anyone else about developing your own right and wrong. Your definition of mental illness is pretty screwed up. When people are willing to say, "Yes, I went to a therapist today," in the same way they would "admit" going to a doctor for the flu, then we're there. The two aren't even remotely viewed as the same thing.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, April 22, 2016 8:51 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

Mister Halo said:

We are told we have to be 'understanding' and 'tolerant'...

No, we're not 'told' that. We live in an always evolving society that the media reflects rather than leads. I agree with Jeff here (for the record, I tried to commit suicide).


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Friday, April 22, 2016 6:05 PM

Jeff, you are right that the real issue here is not that we are told to think one way or another directly. That is not what I was getting at. The fundamental issue is that in our post-modern society, everyone is open to make their own rules, along with a strong sense that new rules are inherently better. Because we have done away with our ability to have a consensus on what is mentally healthy and what is not, we are no longer allowed to express concern when individuals delve into what has historically been considered dark areas of the mind. The risk now is being accused of over-reacting, or being old fashioned, or judgemental, or being an outright bigot (depending on one's level of passion for a particular dark area). And for those of us who have a flawed mind, we are no longer allowed a have a compass in society to really judge for ourselves. So it isn't only the embarrassment in admitting I need help, it's the weakened ability to even be able to judge if I do. We are on a slippery slope, for sure.

slithernoggin said:

No, we're not 'told' that.

You mean other than advertising, public service announcements and all sorts of public school initiatives? There are plenty of government programs geared toward telling us (particularly the younger among us) in so many different ways that 'tolerance' is all-important. And the media (whether social or conventional) is *filled* with those that are agenda-driven from all sides. Sure, there is an element of reflection there, but there is most certainly a lot of power and money dumped into all forms of media for the sole purpose of 'leading' the populous.

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Friday, April 22, 2016 8:07 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

I think you're arguing morals as opposed to mental health. Someone schizophrenic, bipolar, suicidal, etc have nothing to do with what is being preached when people preach tolerance. You're very off base. It's still taboo to say you're dealing with depression, where it's okay to say you're dealing with cancer.


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Friday, April 22, 2016 9:47 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Mister Halo said:

You mean other than advertising, public service announcements and all sorts of public school initiatives? There are plenty of government programs geared toward telling us (particularly the younger among us) in so many different ways that 'tolerance' is all-important. And the media (whether social or conventional) is *filled* with those that are agenda-driven from all sides. Sure, there is an element of reflection there, but there is most certainly a lot of power and money dumped into all forms of media for the sole purpose of 'leading' the populous.

People magazine doesn't put Ellen Degeneres on the cover to "force" you to buy the magazine. They put her on the cover because when they do, they sell more copies. Hollywood doesn't make a million and two X-Men movies to promote tolerance of people who are different. They do it because X-Men movies are very successful.

Businesses make choices based on what they believe will appeal to their markets. They're following, not leading.

Government agencies and public schools don't rule by fiat. They have to obey laws at the city, county, state and Federal level. We elect the people that make those laws. If you don't like the programs that exist, you have several options, including voting, organizing, or running for office. In the meantime, the people we elect to office are following their constituents (if they're not, they run the risk of not being re-elected.)

Is there someone standing at your side with a gun to your head, forcing you to watch this network or read that magazine or visit a particular website? This notion that We The Sheeple are being led around by "the media" is, frankly, absurd. In today's media-saturated world, finding media outlets that reflect your views isn't hard.

Money isn't being "dumped" into all forms of media for the "sole purpose of 'leading' the populace." Money is being spent in order to attract customers or supporters.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Saturday, April 23, 2016 2:05 AM
Jeff's avatar

Mister Halo said:

The fundamental issue is that in our post-modern society, everyone is open to make their own rules, along with a strong sense that new rules are inherently better.

Your apparent societal victimhood has exactly zero to do with mental health.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Saturday, April 23, 2016 9:45 AM

I had the same thought about this being a suicide. Just wasn't sure how to start that conversation without coming across crass or insensitive, especially if that wasn't the case. And mental illness is a terrible thing that goes untreated way too often. A good friend of mine took his life last summer after trying to get help for severe depression, and nobody knew he was even sick. It also runs rampant in my family from depression to bipolar to schizophrenia. My heart goes out to the Chance family.


But then again, what do I know?

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Saturday, April 23, 2016 10:49 AM
Jeff's avatar

A friend of mine hung herself from her bed posts by taking a ton of sleeping pills and letting her body fall into the noose. She was intelligent, beautiful and well liked by everyone who knew her. Unfortunately, without medication, she was also paranoid and borderline schizophrenic. We don't really know why she plunged into a hopeless state, but it's hard to help someone who doesn't want help. Right after college, we lost a friend fighting with anorexia. She was 70 pounds when she died. Her naive parents figured she would just get hungry and everything would be fine.

I've never been diagnosed with any bona fide neurological or psychological issue (though I suspect if I were a young child today, I'd likely be put in the ASD pool), but I found that talking to a therapist in college and after my divorce made a world of difference in my outlook and ability to be a functional adult.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Saturday, April 23, 2016 11:14 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

And yet if your anorexic friend were bleeding from a wound that was just as visible, she'd have been taken to a hospital.

Your friend that committed suicide? Had she found a lump on her breast, she'd likely have had a Dr check that out.

Because those are things we 'expect' to treat. And has nothing to do with Halo's "tolerance preachers" or people making their own right or wrong.

There's w huge difference in someone who happens to be different that what someone else considers normal or someone doing something that someone else considers immoral, and someone acting out because of mental illness. Someone gay, for example, who lives a totally normal life in a committed relationship may be against someone's morals, but that has nothing to do with the gay guy who is in a self destructive path doing very dangerous things. It's no different than a straight person in a normal life vs a straight person doing dangerous things. That's not tolerance, that's taboo. And mental health should not be taboo.


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016 10:24 PM
OhioStater's avatar

Mister Halo said:

But doesn't our society not only accept, but actually embrace a lot of mental illness now?...

...Society would have to agree on a set of boundaries for what is mentally healthy and what isn't before we could treat mental illness as a "thing." Unfortunately, in a world where each person is encouraged to develop their own sense of right and wrong, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

I'm not sure what society you live in, but it's not the same one I exist in, on both points.

If mental illness isn't a thing, what the hell have I been helping people deal with for the last decade? What did I and countless others get treated for?

Your current perspective is part of the problem. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and, well...you know the rest.

Being ignorant of the existence of mental illness has nothing to do with one's perspective on morality.

We don't even talk about mental illness in the same way as illnesses such as cancer, the flu, etc.

Would you ever point to someone and say "She's Cancer", or "He's Leukemia"?

Would you ever come up to someone and say "Hi, I'm Polio"?

But...how do we speak of mental illness? We say..."He's depressed." "She's Bipolar". We even say things like "I'm anorexic".

The point is, we haven't even gotten to the point where we grammatically speak of mental illnesses in the same way as other illnesses, so no, we are far from embracing them.

Last edited by OhioStater, Sunday, April 24, 2016 6:22 PM
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Sunday, April 24, 2016 12:08 AM

It is always distressing to me when I hear of someone like Mike Chance or Robin Williams committing suicide. With all the resources at their disposal, they still did not make it. It is discouraging to someone with severe depression (like myself) to see that they've still taken their lives after medicine and treatment and therapy. The thing is, depression (and other mental illnesses) don't have cures. They're like cancers of the psyche, and they're just as potentially lethal. Depression is a lying, manipulative C U Next Tuesday that invades one or two cells of your mind and then spreads just like a malignancy until every thought you have is mutated. The mental anguish and despair is something I'd never wish on my worst enemy. Every day I am still here, I have won a battle with myself and my own diseased mind.

However, I won't hide this. Maybe I am TOO open about it, but I'll talk to anyone who will listen to me regarding my illness. I will answer questions. I will tell people when I am having a significant depressive episode. I have a good enough support network that I can even say, "Hey, the kitchen knives are looking REALLY tempting today. Can I please come over and visit with you for a little bit?" I have a wonderful therapist. I'm medicated. I know when to take it easy because I can't handle anymore stress.

The thing is, sometimes, it's not enough. I'm not cured. I'm fighting. Sometimes I am "kidnapped by the couch" and cannot get up except to use the bathroom. If I could put the feeling into words, when a bad episode hits, all I feel is GRIEF. The love of my life has just died suddenly GRIEF. I can't breathe, I can't stop crying, I'm choking and smothering on the knot in my throat. Things will NEVER be right, and my life will NEVER get better. Best to end it now. The problem is that this disease is largely unseen, and so it isn't necessarily taken as seriously. I've been told to just make the choice to be happy, that I need more God in my life (especially irritating to an atheist, BTW), that other people have it so much worse than me. I have a chemical imbalance on top of some pretty crappy situational stuff going on, but some people will never understand that I'm constantly tormented. Unless you've been there or have a really open mind, it's hard to understand, and I get that. Unfortunately, depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses really do need to be further researched, and they also need to be understood MUCH MUCH better.

This was significantly personal, so sorry if TMI. My heart breaks for the Chance family, but I'm so touched by their understanding and their grace during this time. We need more people like them speaking out on this disease. If it even saves one more life, they've done an amazing job in bringing this complicated and often stigmatized illness to the forefront of our consciousness.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Sunday, April 24, 2016 7:18 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Here's the two things I think Mister Halo is trying to conflate but are completely separate:

1) Something that a person sees in themselves that they deem is mental illness and they want to make go away

2) Something that a person sees in someone else that they deem is mental illness and they want to make go away

Assuming it only hurts the person in question, #1 is a real problem that is stigmatized so people don't seek or find the best treatment. #2 is oppression.

Edit: Thanks for sharing that Bunky. I know it took a lot of guts. I hope that the 'Buzz is as safe a place to you as it has been to me.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Sunday, April 24, 2016 7:20 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, April 24, 2016 8:57 PM
LostKause's avatar

Is Mr. Halo talking about gay people? Is that the "mental illness" he is trying to talk about without saying it? I don't even think it's on topic.

Last edited by LostKause, Sunday, April 24, 2016 9:01 PM
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