Many of you who know me personally, know that I have a family member who has a mental illness. When most of the population thinks of people with mental illness, they often think it is the persons fault - that maybe they did drugs, or drank or ??
Drug use, drinking and smoking can be symptoms of mental illness, but not the cause.
The cause is biological....like having Diabetes.
Let me tell you about my family member.
My family member doesn't smoke, drink or do drugs.
She was a straight A student in school.
She was on a national sports team and competed internationally. She had dreams of attending one of the more prestigious universities in the country.
Then one day the chemicals in her head just didn't work correctly. She couldn't focus. She became depressed. She became angry. School became harder, but she pushed on and graduated from high school. She went to counseling. She was given medication.
She was diagnosed as bi-polar.
But then she started having auditory and visual hallucinations.
She was hosptialized and doctors played around with medications to find what would work. She was diagnosed as schizo-affective.
She came home and continued junior college.
She was two classes away from finishing, when her medication stopped working. She was hospitalized again. Doctors played around with her medication some more.
Now she is slowly making her way back to normal life.
She still has dreams of finishing school.
She still has dreams of working and marrying.
None of what has happened to her is her fault.
My daughter, Danielle.
Saturday I will be walking for her......
and others like her.
Please support me in my walk to raise awareness and eradicate stigma and to raise money so more services can be offered in the Riverside/San Bernardino area to those who have a mental illness.
Click on either of the links below to donate, then read on for more information.
NAMIWalks, the signature walkathon event of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
The event I am participataing in is being held in Hemet, CA at Diamond Valley Lake on October 27, 2012. Please make a donation to support my participation in this event.
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the largest education, support and advocacy organization that serves the needs of all whose lives are touched by these illnesses. This includes persons with mental illness, their families, friends, employers, the law enforcement community and policy makers.
The NAMI organization is composed of approximately 1100 local affiliates, 50 state offices and a national office.
The goals of the NAMIWalks program are to fight the stigma that surrounds mental illness, to build awareness of the fact that the mental health system in this country needs to be improved, and to raise funds for NAMI so that they can continue their mission.
NAMI has been rated by Worth magazine as among the top 100 charities "most likely to save the world" and has been given an "A+" rating by The American Institute of Philanthropy for efficient and effective use of charitable dollar. NAMI has also been given 4 out of 4 stars by The Charity Navigator for short-term spending practices and long-term sustainability.
NAMI is a 501(c)3 charity and any donation you make to support my participation in this event is tax deductible.
Please take the time to visit my personal walker page to support my efforts. You can make a donation by clicking on
and then clicking on SUPPORT ME.
Donating online is fast and secure, and I'll get immediate notification via e-mail of your donation.
Danielle's mom, Kandi DeCarlo
Me, Danielle and Carolyn at the Riverside Raincross Run 2011