Steps against the Stigma-1601mi walk for Mental Health
Organized by: Katie and Liam Brooks
Katie and Liam Brooks via Crowdrise
September 15, 2015
Help us put an end to the stigma surrounding mental health. My husband and I both know, first hand, what it's like living with mental demons. Liam lived most of his life with Borderline Personality Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I suffer from Bi-Polar Disorder, Anxiety, and Depression. In 2013 we made the life changing decision to move from Omaha, Nebraska to the Pacific Northwest. After being beat with the bad-luck-stick when we arrived we ended up nearly homeless after only a few months. We sold and pawned everything we had of value. Everything. A few months later we watched our car being towed away. Having everything striped from you in a matter of months can change a person. Some would be angry and regretful, but not us. We believe God put us through everything for a reason, but it wasn't just a blessing in disguise, it was a game-changer for Liam...
For years he took prescription dugs for his mental illnesses and bounced around from therapist to therapist. Nothing seemed to work. He needed something different, something extreme. The move across country, change in scenery and shock to the system turned my husband into a completely different person. It was not overnight , but in two years time he is doing very well in his recovery, so well he has started working again after many years! He became an inspiration. Walking 3-14 miles in a day, donating plasma, doing eveything in his power to keep us and our kitties fed and a roof over our heads. When I lost it (and I did often) he was my cheerleader. This was just another chapter in his tragic tale of a life. It's hard to sum up what he's been through, but here it goes...
Born as a result of an affair, single mom, rough neighborhood, surrounded by violence and negative influences, shootings, his best friend murdered, gang violence, a gun to his head, sister and family home taken by a fire, he may have siblings he has never met, and, sadly, I could keep on going. If you're familiar with the story of the two mice caught in the cream, he's the second mouse...
He's walking back home a changed man and he's hoping to change others along the way. He wants to be a mentor, educator and presenter on mental health issues. He also just wants to meet people who have lived coped with the same things and give them hope and that recovery is possible! With the funds raised we will stop in towns along the route and donate money and time to people less fortunate than us. Our random acts of kindness will be chronicaled online via our personal Facebook pages and this site. Funds will also provide us with supplies (I will post a list at a later date).
This walk will happen Spring of 2016, regardless of donations, so every dollar is appreciated!! Will you donate $10 and sponsor a mile?
Thank you and God Bless!