Realtor Kimberly Tocco shares her story to help eradicate suicide
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Kimberly Tocco and her family were eating breakfast, when a minor argument ensued. Her 13-year-old son, Jason Legere, went upstairs and shot himself.
“He died in my arms,” Tocco says about the March 22, 2011, nightmare. “It was quite traumatizing. We had to just figure out a way to wake up every day after that.”
The family didn’t want to return to their home. They were passed around from rental to rental, and literally two years to the date of Legere’s death, something happened.
“I said, ‘I’ve got to do something,’” Tocco recalls. “I can’t be this pitiful little mother, doing nothing, sitting here crying. I have to find a way to buy a house again, but I couldn’t find a real estate agent to take that risk.”
While Tocco doesn’t fully understand why her son, a star baseball player and the most popular kid in his class, chose to end his life, she has made it a mission to help as many families as possible through a path of home ownership.
“I got my license with our tax return on June 1, 2013, and closed on a home,” Tocco says. “When my husband walked through the door and we realized we had our own house, we had a little happiness for the first time.
“I knew how important it was. I dedicated my life and career and my son’s name to helping others. I’ve given $300,000 to help firefighters and needy families. Usually, when there’s been a tragedy, people can’t even think straight. This part is very, very rewarding.”
Nicknamed “Tenacious T,” Tocco gives 25% of her commission to first responder and military clients as well as those in need. She’s considered one of EXP Realty’s top producers, selling between 40 and 50 homes a year.
Recently, she starred on HGTV’s new series “Pool Hunters.” The premiere episode, which aired July 6, followed Tocco and her clients, emergency room Drs. Manisha and Shivang Mehta, as they tried to find the home with the ultimate resort-style backyard. In the end, Tocco succeeded and her clients were thrilled with their Scottsdale home off Shea Boulevard and 113rd Street.
“This was both an honor and a home run in my book,” Tocco says. “I was able to find these life-saving doctors a home with their dream backyard and then to be able to work with HGTV and have them capture everything from beginning their home search journey to moving in was a great keepsake for this special family.”
Tocco shared 25% from her commissions to help with their closing costs.
“It was incredible experience and we were so lucky to have Kimberly representing us throughout this whole process,” says Manisha Mehta. “Not only did she help us find our dream home, but she got us on HGTV. We are so appreciative for the opportunity and the amazing experience.”
Television was a long time coming for Tocco, who moved to Arizona 37 years ago. She was a single mother of two children when she bought her first house. She and her husband, Peter Tocco, a Scottsdale fire captain, have three sons, Brian, 23, and twins Joey and Petey, 12. Jason would have been 22.
“That first house was a pivotal moment for me,” she says. “I was fortunate enough to meet this Scottsdale fire captain, who raised my two boys as his own. We had twins and then in 2008 to 2010 with the economic downslide, there were pay cuts even within the fire department. We lost everything we invested in real estate.”
To this day, Tocco continues to work to eradicate suicide.
“When you tell someone you’ve lost a child, they ask you how it happened,” she says. “When suicide is mentioned, they look at you like what did you do to make your child do that.
“I’m planning the safe haven events, working with Teen Life and speaking openly so everyone can hear. It’s part of my healing process. If I can help one kid or one mom, that’s great, but I’m still not going to stop.”
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