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By Rob Laitman
Runner, Father, Donor – Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
Five years ago my son Daniel was diagnosed with schizophrenia and our lives were turned upside down. He was just starting his sophomore year of high school when he was diagnosed and was in and out of hospital day programs for much of that year. Over the next 2 years we would see many doctors and Daniel would be on many different medications. While he is now on a medical regimen that he is doing well on, and while he finished high school on time in a great program and is now in community college, we all long for the day when his disease will be cured, not just kept under control. He still has symptoms most days and has learned to live with them, but we would love for him to be free of “the voices”.
Last January, Daniel, Daniel’s sister Hannah, their cousin Joey, and myself ran the Disney World Half-Marathon together and raised almost $15,000 for the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. That was just the beginning! On January 7,2012, we did it again. We participated again in the Disney Half Marathon, and I ran the full marathon the next day. The weekend was great! Hannah, Daniel, Rachel and I finished the half marathon in about 2 hrs 37 minutes…..Rachel has not run for almost a year, but she finished! I completed the full marathon in 3 hours and 19 minutes, which is faster than I planned – I felt great!
We all know someone with a mental illness and we can all be part of the search to find better treatments and cures for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and eating disorders and the many other types of mental illness that are out there. I hope they never affect you, but chances are that one of them will touch you or someone you love. Help us to raise funds for research and you be part of the cure!
We aren’t finished! There are more marathons this year. Would you like to join us? Whether or not you are a runner, I would like to invite you to support Team Daniel and TeamUp! Please share this blog link with family and friends, make a donation, or even better, join us in a run! (See our schedule below.) I am really hoping to recruit more Team members. What an inspiration it would be to see a sea of Team Daniel / BBRF tee shirts running in the marathon!
I personally offer to support runners up to $1000 if they raise at least $5000 for the Foundation. I will do this up to 10 runners.
Team Daniel marathons in support of Brain & Behavior Research Foundation:
• Boston Marathon, April 2012
• New Jersey Marathon, May 2012
• New York Marathon, November 2012
We are in the lottery for…
• Chicago, Illinois
• St. George, Utah
Please enjoy this video “Grateful” – written and performed by my daughter Rachel Laitman:
My name is Ken Harrison and like so many of you, I know first-hand the challenges of caring for a loved one with mental illness. And while each of us faces unique issues, the need for better treatments and therapies is what we are all in search of.
That’s where the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation makes a difference. As a board member and an advocate, I’ve agreed to Chair TeamUp! America to support research in communities throughout the country, and I’m inviting you to join me by forming a team in your neighborhood.
TeamUp! America is a community-driven fundraising challenge with a goal to raise $250,000 by November 16, 2011. 100% of the money you raise will fund leading research institutions in your home state.
As the nation’s leading not for profit funding mental illness, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation has been funding breakthroughs to help the 1 in 4 Americans* diagnosed with a mental illness for nearly 25 years. Guided by an all volunteer Scientific Council that includes 2 Nobel Prize winning scientists, the Foundation is committed to funding cures.
The TeamUp! America campaign will not only raise much needed money for research – research that will one day fund those cures, but it will also lessen the stigma that 77 million Americans* deal with each and every day. Please join me and your neighbors as we Team Up! America.
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
2. Build your team with your family, friends, and neighbors
3. Hold a fundraiser or make a donation to show your support
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800.829.8289.
Thanks for supporting TeamUp! America.
John Ken Harrison, II
Board Member, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
Chairman, TeamUp! America
*Based on the 2010 US Census: 77 million of the 311 million Americans (www.census.gov) or 1 in 4 Americans experiences a brain and behavior disorder each year (National Institute of Mental Health)