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Hilarious. Great laugh. Animal lover. Loved harder than she could breath. A best friend. Made life go.

There’s a watercolor painting in Solomon Thomas’ Las Vegas house — a sunflower, each leaf dotted with a different word or phrase.

A family friend made the painting with words from Thomas’ eulogy at his sister’s funeral in 2018, using her favorite flower as the template.

Ella Thomas, 24, died by suicide on Jan. 23, 2018. Her death rocked the usually optimistic and energetic family as Solomon Thomas navigated the beginning of a career in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers.

This May, the Thomas family started The Defensive Line, a nonprofit that aims to reduce stigma around mental health and reduce suicide in young people, especially young people of color.

“We’re really trying to do this right,” said Thomas, 26, now a defensive tackle for the Raiders. “We’re trying to save people, we’re trying to educate people, and we’re trying to end the stigma against mental health so we can continue to make big strides in this world.”


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