This year's Comic-Con held a special meaning for Jared Padalecki, who was met with a surprise tribute from fans just a few months after opening up about his own depression.
Over 7,000 fans at Sunday's Comic-Con event lit candles in support of Padalecki's "Always Keep Fighting" campaign to help raise money for the nonprofit To Write Love on Her Arms, an organization that supports people dealing with depression, addiction, self-harm and suicide.
After Sunday's event, the 32-year-old took to Facebook to thank everyone who took part. He explained he initially mistook the candles for cell phone lights and it was only until he was handed his own candle that he understood the gravity of the moment.
From the very bottom of my heart and my soul, thank you so much. I will never forget this day. I will never forget the love that I felt, and still feel. And, to everybody who held a light for me, please know that I hold my light for you. Though I happened to be the one sitting on stage, I am but one small light in a see (sic) of thousands. TOGETHER, we can and will make a difference! Keep letting your light shine. I will do the same. And, keep fighting. Always Keep Fighting.
In May, the "Supernatural" star canceled multiple scheduled appearances, telling fans "I am in desperate and urgent need of my family" and asking them to write him because "I need all of the love I can get right now."
Two months earlier, Padalecki discussed launching "Always Keep Fighting" and opened up about his personal struggles to Variety.
"I, in the past, have had my own struggles of not [being] so happy with where I am in life, which is strange and I think it goes to show," he said. "Maybe a lot of people don’t know this, but Season 3, we were shooting an episode, and I went back to my trailer to get changed and just kind of broke down."
He also offered words of support to others dealing with similar issues.
"I say constantly that there’s no shame in dealing with these things," he said. "There’s no shame in having to fight every day, but fighting every day, and presumably, if you’re still alive to hear these words or read this interview, then you are winning your war. You’re here. You might not win every battle. There are going to be some really tough days. There might be several tough times in any given single day, but hopefully, this will help somebody to think, 'This isn’t easy; it is a fight, but I’m going to keep fighting,' and that’s why we did this [Always Keep Fighting campaign]."
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