Ted was born in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia on January 27, 1989. He lost his dad when he was eight months old. He lived with his mom until he was four, when she became gravely ill and realized that she would not recover. She took Ted to her brothers’ compound in the countryside, a three-day trip to the north from Debre Zeit. Within a couple of months, his mom passed away, leaving Ted to be cared for by her family.
Five years later, at 10 years old, Ted was adopted by a Peace Corps volunteer named Ed McCreanor and Ted’s sister, Azu. Ted arrived in the United States on March 1, 1999, and entered the third grade, where he began learning English.Ted loved school. In fourth grade, he learned his math facts. In 5th grade, he made the ESOL honor roll. In 6th grade, he was on the regular honor roll.
In 7th grade, Ted was placed in an underachieving classroom, so he took it upon himself to wake up and study starting at 5 am. He would come home from school and continue studying until 9 pm, with only a break for dinner. He got straight A’s. He did the same thing in 8th grade with similar results, except for a B in math.
During 8th grade, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, a public magnet school, invited Ted to attend their “School of Scholars”. He participated in the Honors Program and graduated with a 3.79 GPA.
Ted’s life took a tragic turn while he was attending Frostburg State University. He became increasingly paranoid and, six weeks prior to graduation, he collapsed with a psychotic break. This began a series of hospitalizations and his family’s increasing concern for his well-being.
In February 2013, Ted moved to Akron, Ohio on the recommendation of his Aunt Paula Bank, who lives near Akron. In Ohio,Ted received comprehensive mental health services from Community Support Services (CSS).In the grip of his mental illness, Ted dismissed the value of the CSS services, attempting instead to do everything by himself, including finding his own housing and work and deciding which medications he would take. Soon everything became negotiable and debatable.
Mental illness caused Ted to be in agony with himself, which hurt his relationships with everyone he loved. Now that he is at peace, the space has been opened for us to find our peace with Ted through photos and memories.
Ted, we grieve your absence and rejoice in your peace! We love you.
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