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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

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 […]

Dr BJ Miller

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BJ Miller

Adversity: Triple amputee, near-death experience

Advocacy: Provides palliative care to patients living and suffering with serious illness

“With my dramatic adversity comes the possibility for dramatic joy. Sharing this with others makes sweet of something tough. Life is hard enough as it is – we don’t need to suffer, […]

Becky Fein

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Becky Fein

Adversity: Sexual assault victim

Advocacy: Co-founder and director of The Powerful Voices Project

“Talking about my sexual assault with others, and hearing about theirs, has allowed us to create strength out of an experience that had been deeply disempowering. Through this work, I have come further in my […]

Vic Ojakian

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Vic Ojakian

Adversity: Loss of son to suicide

Advocacy: Suicide prevention and mental health awareness activist

“I love and miss my son, Adam. I channel those emotions and feelings into a determination to help others seek solutions other than killing themselves. From his death, I have gained a strength and a […]

Woody Weingarten

Woody Weingarten

Adversity: Wife diagnosed with breast cancer 20 years ago

Advocacy: Book author, blogger and leader of breast cancer caregiver support group

“Writing the book gave me the chance to show others going through the same up-and-downs that there can be light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.”

Woody […]

Clint Malarchuk

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Clint Malarchuk

Adversity: Diagnoses of depression and PTSD

Advocacy: Working to eliminate the stigma of mental illness.

“Speaking honestly about my battles is almost like a nationwide support group for me. It gives me fuel to keep moving forward and to continue to speak publicly about mental illness.”

Clint Malarchuk […]