INDIANAPOLIS — In an effort to raise awareness about how to reduce gun violence, advocates are asking the public to wear orange this weekend.  

“For me, it’s about elevating my son’s story,” said Indianapolis resident DeAdrea Dycus.” My son DeAndre Knox was shot and critically wounded on February 4th, 2014.”

It’s a day DeAndra Dycus will never forget.  

The tragedy unfolded when shots were fired into a house during a birthday party and her 13-year-old son was hit by a stray bullet.  He was paralyzed from the waist down.

Today, Dycus is using her pain for good. She’s now the executive director of Purpose 4 My Pain in Indianapolis. 

She said her son’s story serves as a very real reminder of how one bullet can change a life. She spends her days taking care of her son and helping families who have lost loved ones to gun violence. 

“As a mother who has struggled so much with my son and the ramifications of his life being altered, it’s so hard,” said Dycus. “To see that continue in our city breaks my heart that another mother must be a caretaker, or give up her job, and give up life as she knows it. We have so many mothers burying their children.”

And with more than a dozen teen homicides this year in Indianapolis, she is doing everything she can to make it stop. 

Her efforts are all part of Wear Orange Weekend. This national campaign takes place every June as part of a wider effort to honor survivors of gun violence like her son.  

As for why the color orange?  

According to the campaign’s website, the practice of wearing orange was originally done to honor a woman who was shot and killed in Chicago a decade ago. Her friends wore orange to honor her. It also happens to be the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.  

It’s a cause Dycus is fully behind and she hopes sharing her story will somehow make a difference.   

“The hope is when someone sees you on the news or hears your story, or they see DeAndre, it will pierce their hearts to stop,” said Dycus.