Kara is bipolar, and both Kara and Josh have loved ones who live with clinical unipolar depression, bipolar disorder and other mental (biochemical) illnesses.
This year Kara became involved with NAMI as a volunteer. She received training and now is a facilitator for Five O'Clock Friday, a support and discussion group for young adults who are living with mental illness. This is the third NAMI Walk in the Fox Valley, and the third walk for the Patterson family. We're planning on making it a family tradition.
NAMI Fox Valley continues to advocate for individuals and families in our community, fighting the stigma that unfortunately still exists.
On walk day, we're going to do more walking in one morning than we usually do in a week. :)
If you'd like to visit our personal walker Web page, go to www.nami.org/namiwalks08/FOX/TeamSerenity. You can donate directly to us online, if you choose. Donating online is fast and secure, and we'll get immediate notification via e-mail of your donation.
If you would prefer, you can give or send any of us (well, not so much Mihret, it'll just go into her mouth) a check, made out to NAMI Fox Valley, and we will make sure that it gets to them.
(Also, a quick note - if we have already walked, and you think you missed the deadline... you haven't! You can donate to NAMI Fox Valley - or ask about being a volunteer there, if you're in the area - at any time.)
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the largest education, support and advocacy organization that serves the needs of all those 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 is a 501(c)3 charity and any donation you make to support our participation in this event is tax deductible. 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 dollars. Thank you in advance for your support.
Kara, Josh and Mihret Patterson