Finding purpose through pain, ‘Ladies on the Move’ unite to overcome gun violence

Indianapolis Area Crime

INDIANAPOLIS — A group of mothers impacted by gun violence have found a new outlet for their pain – it’s called Ladies on the Move through the group Purpose 4 My Pain

These moms, led by DeAndra Dycus, whose son Dre was left paralyzed by a bullet which struck the back of his head 2014, says the group offers strength through sisterhood and a purpose for their pain.

Whether it’s on the pages of TIME Magazine, speaking at the 2020 Democratic National Convention or walking the trails of Indy Parks… Dycus has let her pain power her purpose. 

“We just want other women to know we are here to support you. You do not have to do this journey alone,” Dycus said. “We’re trying our best to live again. Whatever that looks like.”

United by struggle, three women came out to walk together Thursday evening at Northwestway Park: Kimberly Roberts, Connie Nance and organizer DeAndra Dycus. They’ve chosen friendship over fear. 

“These two ladies have lost their sons. My son is critically wounded… may never ever be the same again. This is real life for us,” Dycus said. “I want to see a sisterhood. In our community we see a lot more division than we ever really have to, and I just want to see us build together, grow together and just when we say we’re our sister’s keeper. Really mean it.”

Real life for a mother admittedly looks different without a child – it’s a constant realization Nance battles daily. 

“That pain is deep, it’s real and it never goes away,” Nance said. “It’s tough… but we can do this together.”

Nance lost her son to gun violence in 2016… but she’s not letting that stop her from pressing forward. She’s committed to help other women affected by violence to join them on weekly walks.

“You don’t have to do this alone. We are here and we are good. We have fun. We have nice time, we laugh, we cry, we enjoy life as it still is. It’s changed but we can still make it and that’s all what it’s all about. Making you feel better,” Nance said. “I know how you feel, you don’t wanna get outta bed. You don’t want to do nothing. You don’t want to breathe; you don’t want to live. You want to think about them, and you want to wallow in your sorrow and your pity, but you cannot do that because then you will lose you.”

Through each step of life, through grief, joy and pain. They walk on together – stronger as one. 

“Life goes on. We have to move on. We have to, you know, life goes on and it’s okay,” Roberts said. “To take that… energy out in walking. I don’t wanna walk around with hatred in my heart, so I decided to join Purpose 4 My Pain and walk today to just walk out my anger – instead of fighting somebody or shooting somebody, you know, find something positive or something different to do to take your anger out and make some friends.”

If you’re interested in joining the Ladies on the Move, you can find out where they’ll be walking each Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on their Facebook page

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