INDIAN LAND, SC (WBTV) - Every Friday on Morning Break, we will announce the week's Motivational Most Valuable Player (MVP).
This can be a person or group who truly inspired me in the previous week. Someone we hope will inspire you.
This week's MVP is the Pope family in Indian Land.
Eleven-year-old Garrett Pope, Jr died late last month while playing "The Choking Game."
This is an activity where children suffocate each other, or themselves, by various methods of strangulation. Some methods have involved using belts, ropes or bare hands.
Statistics in 2005 show the so-called game, which has been around for decades, has caused 120 recorded injuries all over the world.
Kids have actually become addicted to this practice because of the temporary euphoria they experience.
This euphoric feeling comes twice; once when pressure is applied to their necks as blood carrying oxygen rapidly decreases, and again when the pressure is released, causing a "rush."
This rush only lasts for a few seconds, so many kids continue to repeat this process in the hopes of attaining greater sensations, not realizing the potential for serious brain damage or death.
Through the grief of losing their eldest son, the Pope family is pushing parents to learn from their tragedy.
"Somebody is not going to do this as a result of us talking," said Garrett Pope, Sr. "We won't know who that is, but as long as it happens - that one other person doesn't do this - that's what matters."
MOBILE USERS: Click here to see photos of 11-year-old Garrett Pope
They didn't know about this dangerous game, or that their young son was taking part.
"It's not a game," Stacy Pope said. "Things get coined with a term. 'Game' to an 11-year-old is fun. Safe. Like, a video game. A football game. They hear 'Choking Game' and think, 'Hey that's fun, let me try it'."
Garrett's father has already spoken to the school principal to make sure teachers are aware of it.
They've also started a GoFundMe page under "Garrett Pope Memorial Fund" to raise money to buy books for the school. Garrett was an avid reader.