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Heather Hamilton's Fundraiser:

A fundraiser/ultra marathon to raise funds and awareness about schizophrenia

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BENEFITING:

EVENT DATE: Sep 19, 2011

HOURS PLEDGED: 80

Heather Hamilton

THE STORY:

The love of my life, Melissa, my daughter was born on June 8, 1987. We had 15 years beautiful years together. Our hearts beat as one, we knew each other's thoughts, fears, dreams. On April 3, 2003, she had her first manic episode and exhibited signs of having Schizophrenia. She was fifteen, an honor student and southeastern ranked tennis player. That was eight years ago. Eight gut wrenching, heart breaking years during which time she was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. In that time, I have learned more than the 41 years I lived before. In that time, I have come to know deeply one of my purposes here, to help others. It has taken me too long to figure out how I can help find a cure for this illness that cripples and kills so many and has so dramatically changed my daughter's life and mine. That is still a work in progress.
My thanks in the moment goes to Crowdrise for being a vehicle, a high powered, well constructed yet sensitive vehicle that paired with mine and others' will, energy, drive and passion will help change the world for the better.
I am working, as I write, on finding the best research institutions for those interested in contributing to research that will ultimately cure Schizophrenia. As part of this project, to raise awareness of this disease, I will be running an ultra marathon that will be representative of the monumental pain and challenges my daughter and others like her suffer daily. I intend to set a world record... much less miraculous than my daughter's efforts to overcome the challenges of living with Schizophrenia.
I will keep all updated with current research on the illness. I will put a few significant facts out there now.
Schizophrenia ranks among the top ten disabling illnesses in America. It is eighth on that list for research funding. Fifty percent of teen age suicides are due to Schizophrenia. There is no cure for the illness to date. All of the antipsychotics and some of the antidrepressants and medications for anxiety prescribed regularly in cocktail form for those suffering with the illness have life threatening side effects. If the disease does not kill its' victims prematurely, the medications will and do.
I will keep all posted on my progress training for this mammoth undertaking in September. I will keep hope in my heart, as I always do, that all those currently living with Schizophrenia and those who will be diagnosed with it will not live a life in pain and fear with the only relief a trajic untimely death.
So you know and for your comfort, Melissa is doing beautifully now. This is a tribute to her strength and will to live and perhaps, in part, to my unending efforts to love and support her and give her the best quality of life she can have. But, I have a friend right now whose teen aged son is struggling to live with this illness and many others who I know of on the edge. And I have few good answers for them. But, still, much hope.
I have also written a book about our story. That will be published after my run or in conjunction with it. Revenue earned from it will also go into funding research for a cure.
Thanks to all for reading this story . Love can move mountains. It can heal people. And it will. Thanks for supporting Love Heels All.

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