News / Halifax

Nova Scotia MMA fighter who took own life 'defeated' by depression

Cody Glode's parents hope people will learn from their son’s story, and also that mental illness needs more attention.

Cody Glode shown last year.

Truro Daily News

Cody Glode shown last year.

Cody Glode was seen as a true warrior, both inside the ring as a mixed martial arts athlete, and outside of it, battling blazes with Truro fire services.

But there was one battle that was too much for the young Millbrook man.

He lost his battle with depression on March 1 when he took his own life.

“We could see him slipping away, we could see the illness starting to literally take over him,” said Cody's mom, Lisa Glode on Tuesday.

She said her son had been battling depression since he was 12 years old. But he seemed to handle it well.

“Some people have outward signs that something's not right, but Cody was always assuring us he was alright,” said Lisa.

All of that changed in February, and as Cody’s symptoms worsened, he reached out to his parents for help.

Cody and his mother first tried to get help through a mental health crisis line. A day later, the service called back and told Lisa it takes a “little while” to see a psychiatrist, and suggested Cody go see his family doctor.

Cody took the advice, and made an appointment to see his doctor.

Matthew Glode, Cody’s dad, said his son was optimistic the morning of his doctor's appointment, but when his son returned home Matthew was immediately concerned.

“When he came in the house that day he was a defeated man,” said Matthew.

“I’ve seen Cody lose in competition before, but I’ve never, ever, seen him defeated…It killed me to see him like that.”

Cody Glode after an MMA fight in Halifax year.

Martin Blais/Aggro Photography

Cody Glode after an MMA fight in Halifax year.

At his doctor's appointment, Cody was told he needed to wait another two months.

“If I went to the hospital with pains in my chest, they would do everything in their power to help me right then and there, they wouldn’t send me home and say see you in two months,” said Matthew.  

Something has to be done, to change the way mental illness is viewed, and how these people are treated,” his mother added.

The 20-year-old was the youngest firefighter in the history of Truro’s fire service and also the first aboriginal firefighter. More than 800 people from the communities of Millbrook and Truro attended his funeral.

Lisa and Matthew have been overwhelmed by the number of people approaching them and sharing stories of how Cody impacted their lives.

“Hearing all these stories from people about how he helped them, talked to them and listened, or how he spent extra time with their little kids at the gym. He just always had time for others,” said Lisa. 

The Glodes are hoping people will learn from their son’s story and realize mental illness can affect anyone, and that seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but of strength.

His parents said even though Cody was a fighter, he did have a soft side. He would always hug and kiss them every time he saw them, regardless of who was around. 

“For some kids, the last thing they want to do is tell their parents that they love them, but he told us all the time,” his mother said.

“He always wanted a hug.”

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