Remarkable Women 2020: Lexington mom spreading awareness about military suicides while coping with loss of son

Remarkable Women
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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- FOX8 is recognizing remarkable women of the Piedmont Triad.

When you walk into Stephanie Maner’s home, it’s hard to miss the dining room off to the right.

The wall is a deep reddish color, some may even call it burgundy, but Maner refers to it as her "Red Room."

The room has been transformed into a space that honors her youngest son Nickolas Maner.

There is a collage of his pictures hanging on the wall and several items related to Nickolas’ service in the U.S. Army carefully placed throughout the room.

“Nickolas came home from Afghanistan. We lived in Denton at the time, so he made the front page of the paper,” Maner remembered cheerfully as she pointed to the framed article.

In August 2017, all seemed well when the family spent time with Nickolas during a trip to Las Vegas.

However, two months later, Maner’s world shattered with a phone call.

“I had to hear the words that my son shot himself. I knew he wasn't going to be OK. Then on the 30th, I called, and he had just passed away,” she said.

Maner says she initially fell apart.

“I would sit on the couch for days and my husband would have to say, you need to get up. I didn't want to but after a while, you realize that's not how you want to spend your life,” she said.

Maner got up and got involved.

She is a mentor for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

She helps other mothers grieving the loss of children who served our country.

“I hate that I met them and they're the same way, but it's nice to be able to talk to them,” she said.

This fall, Maner plans to go back to school and pursue a graduate degree in psychology to enhance her outreach.

Maner is honored to be selected as one of the Piedmont Triad's "Remarkable Women" finalists.

She was nominated by her two surviving sons.

Our Remarkable Women finalists will be revealed every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Each of the finalists profiled on FOX8 were nominated by friends, family or the people impacted by their work. The winner of our local Remarkable Women Contest will receive a free trip to New York City and attend the Mel Robbins show.

Meet other area finalists by following the Remarkable Women Facebook page.

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