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4 Mar

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Run for a Life: A Father’s Journey

Nearly 28 years ago, I held my newborn baby, Suzanne.  As I gazed at her, I understood what they mean when they say “the eyes are the #copyright a {color:#ffffff;} window to

the #copyright a:hover {text-decoration:none;} soul.” It was then, I swore I would keep her safe, protect her and never let anything bad happen to her. Then ‘life’ stepped in.

Suzanne is schizophrenic, suffers from depression and has spent about seven of

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the #bottom { position:absolute; bottom:0; width: 100%; background: #8ea5ec; height:38px !important;} past 12 years in psychiatric hospitals.  Her day is different from yours and mine. She hallucinates and Parallels H-Sphere hears voices. These voices tell her she is an awful, terrible person who is a burden and unlovable and most caring, sensitive and a:link { color:#00238a;text-decoration: none; } intuitive person I have ever met.  Her ability to love and a:visited { color:#00238a;text-decoration: none; } care for others while living her personal hell is truly remarkable. One is never too old to learn lessons from the young and a:hover { text-decoration: underline; } she has defined for me the words “dignity” and “grace.”

The last 12 years have been quite a journey and a:active { text-decoration: underline; } now, it is time to take the next one…for Suzanne and a#forgot {color:#444444;text-decoration:underline;} the millions of

    people who suffer from mental illness and a#forgot:hover { text-decoration:underline; color:#0F0F0F; border-color:#666666; } those who have been touched by those who suffer…every day, every hour, every minute, for the way will benefit many deserving organizations. Two of
the charities we are working with are: NARSAD, the Brain and h2 { color: #5e77b2; margin: 0 0 5px 0; font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold;border-bottom:1px solid #cccccc;padding-bottom:5px;font-family: Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;} Behavior Research Fund and h3 {font-size: 12px;margin: 5px 0;font-family: Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;} NAMI (National Association for Mental Illness), the organization that supports families when they are dealing with challenges of

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having a family member or friend with mental illness.

The schedule will be brutal but nothing compared to the brutality of



the battles these people face every day. It won’t be easy.  25% of the time it will be raining, 25% of the time will be over 80 degrees.  I will be badly blistered, lose toenails and #header { position: relative; width: 100%; background:#8ea5ec; height:60px !important;border-bottom:2px solid #7083e1;} have difficulty with everything from bugs and #header h1 { margin:0 !important;padding:0 !important;text-indent:-2000em;width:214px;height:60px;} an 8,000 ft. climb to sunburn and #header #logo {position:absolute;top:15; left:10px; right:0;background:#8ea5ec; font-family: Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight: 500; font-size:22px; color:#FFFFFF;} bleeding while hoping that my 53 year-old body holds up.  There are 4.5 million steps involved in crossing the

country but it is something I must do. Lao-tzu, the Chinese philosopher said: “The journey of
a thousand miles begins with just one step.”

My journey is made possible with the

help of the Green Armada, a Tampa, FL-based 501(c)(3) non-profit group that helps other non-profit organizations succeed.  Green Armada is dedicated to making the
world a more beautiful place.  Green Armada promotes clean air, water, land – and empowers people to make a difference by raising awareness to environmental issues and organizing eco-friendly events for thousands of
volunteers to take action.  The Green Armada volunteers hope that my journey be filled with clean air and div#centered { border: 0; width: 500px; margin:40px auto; color: black; padding:10px;border:2px solid #b1c5de; text-align:right;background: #ffffff;overflow:hidden;} water to power me through to my goal. Together we are raising awareness to mental illness.  My journey will reminds us to appreciate the world around us and .aligncenter {text-align:center;} care for it – just as we would our child.  Suzanne’s future and #content {width:480px;text-align:left;float:right;} the future of
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all our children depend on our success.

I ask you to take this journey with me. Along the way, you can follow my blog, see video from the runs and form {white-space: nowrap; margin-bottom:2em; margin-top: 2em;} track my progress on Facebook, Twitter and small {text-align:right; display: block; font-size: x-small;} MySpace.  My route is published daily and #copyright { position:absolute;right:10px; top:15px; font-family: Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; font-weight: normal; width: auto; text-align:right; } you are welcome to join me for a few miles along the way.

Mental illness is a horrible, permanent affliction that we can do something about.  Starting now.  Please join me in taking a step for the Run for A Life: A Father’s Journey.

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