'Supernatural' Star Jared Padalecki Thanks Fans For Emotional Comic Con Tribute & It Really Shows The Power Of Community
Jared Padalecki knows a thing or two about about making fans happy — the Supernatural fandom is easily one of the most hardcore and dedicated fan bases out there — but at this year's Comic Con, the devoted fans flipped the script, openly showing their support for Padalecki and his fight against depression with a moving gesture that left him speechless and deeply moved.
The actor has been candid about his depression before, detailing his own diagnosis of clinical depression to Variety back in March. The Gilmore Girls alum also started his own campaign to diffuse the stigma against mental illness, creating t-shirts bearing the slogan "ALWAYS KEEP FIGHTING" to raise funds for To Write Love On Her Arms, an organization that helps people battling depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and more. But it was at Comic Con 2015 that the actor saw firsthand just how many people support him and his cause, as fans came together and lit up the room with Always Keep Fighting tea lights.
Emotional and touched by the tribute, Padelecki later took to Facebook to express his gratitude:
A thank you.
To anybody and everybody that had ANY part whatsoever in the Always Keep Fighting Hall H tea light event.
As I travel back to Vancouver from San Diego Comic-Con, with my partners in crime Jensen Ackles and Mark Sheppard, the enormity of what happened is finally starting to sink in....
I am beyond moved.
I feel so blessed, and grateful, and honored to be a part of the magical Supernatural Family.
Sitting on that stage in Hall H, I initially mistook all of the lights for cell phone cameras. It's difficult to discern specific shapes and faces with all of those stage lights shining on you (and, it's quite intimidating up there, sitting in front of 6,500 people!!). Then, when I had a light given to me with an explanation of what it was and what it stood for, I was (and am still) gob-smacked.
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 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 many ways, it is far from surprising that fans — many of whom undoubtedly traveled from all over to attend the event — would come together and support one of their icons in such a moving manner. But it is still incredibly touching to see the fandom band together to make their idol as happy as he makes them. And perhaps that's because they know firsthand what it's like to suffer from depression. Just look at Carry On, a Supernatural support group for fans dealing with depression and other mental health issues.
"Carry On is a place for the Supernatural family to stand united against the evils of this world, as well as our own personal demons," the site readers. "It is a safe place, where you can come and know that you are not alone."
While the support group is a place for fans to share stories and struggles with one another, it's also a place for fans to receive encouraging advice and support from people who can relate to what it is they are going through. Fans just get it, and it is certainly a moving, possibly even life-saving, experience to be able to connect on that level. Just ask Jared Padalecki.