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Meet our Advocates.

Their stories of turning adversity
into advocacy will inspire you!

Browse through our collection of inspiring stories from our incredible advocates.

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Robert Villanueva

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001

Became national speaker & trainer for The National Alliance on Mental Illness

Read His Story

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Lisa Ford Berry

Lost son, Michael, to peer abuse-driven suicide

Created nonprofit organization to combat peer abuse

Read Her Story

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Corey Reich

Diagnosed with ALS in 2007

Founded "Corey's Crusade" to give voice to ALS sufferers

Read His Story

Chris Downey

Chris Downey

Adversity: Lost his sight due to a brain tumor

Advocacy: Became an accessibility design expert and advocate for the blind

“As an architect without sight, I endeavor to build bridges across the visual divide while removing ill-conceived walls between people with disabilities and others who haven’t found theirs yet.”

Chris […]

Stephanie Snow Gebel

Stephanie Snow Gebel

Adversity: Daughter diagnosed with Wolfram syndrome

Advocacy: Founded The Snow Foundation to fund trials, provide support and resources

“My greatest priority is to be a strong voice for rare disease and to provide hope for my daughter, as well as all of the other children in the world, […]

Barbara Claypole White

Barbara Claypole White

Adversity: Son diagnosed with OCD at age 8

Advocacy: Uses fiction writing and blogging to provide hope to those with OCD

“Readers often say, ‘I’ve never told anyone this before…’ And the book clubs I visit turn into therapy. People need to share their experiences. The more we talk, […]

Brad Bulla

Brad Bulla

Adversity: Son died in a drunk driving accident where he was the passenger

Educates others about drunk driving and advocates for violent crime victims

“By sharing my story, perhaps I can make a statistic come to life and touch someone’s heart. If I can do that, then perhaps I […]

Adrianne Haslet-Davis

Adrianne Haslet-Davis

Adversity: Lost left leg from knee down in Boston Marathon bombing

Advocacy: Worldwide advocate on behalf of amputees

“As an advocate for amputees around the globe I am in constant awareness of how my actions can help. In this world of technology and isolation, it is more important than […]

Lindsay Avner

Lindsay Avner

Adversity: High risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer

Advocacy: Started a nonprofit to save lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering young women to live proactively

“I love nothing more than a woman empowered to be proactive with her health and seeing the Bright Pink community grow fills […]

Kelly Brush

Kelly Brush

Adversity: Paralysis

Advocacy: Started a foundation to provide adaptive sports equipment and increase safety in ski racing, the sport in which she was injured

“Through participating in adaptive sports after my injury, I proved to myself that life could be normal again. I want to share this hope […]

Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout

Dr. Jennifer Jo Kanter-Brout

Adversity: Misophonia/Sensory Processing Disorder

Advocacy: Advocates for research and improved diagnosis for those with Sensory Over-Responsivity (a subtype of sensory processing disorder) and Misophonia.

“Affecting change within institutions and systems is wrought with frustration, but ultimately empowering. For me, the real advocacy began when I realized I […]

Meryl Comer

Meryl Comer

Adversity: Husband and mother diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

Advocacy: Authored a book to advocate for caregivers, families and research

“Being an advocate is my way of “flipping the pain” as a 20-year caregiver for my husband and mother with Alzheimer’s disease. When you live in the hopelessness of a disease […]

Lennon Flowers

Lennon Flowers

Adversity: Grief and Loss

Advocacy: Support Groups/ Non Profit for young adults experiencing significant loss

“To me, it’s not a matter of helping, so much as it is creating the conditions in which people can thrive. I helped to create the community I needed, and generally trust that […]