Diagnosed with ALS in 2007
Founded "Corey's Crusade" to give voice to ALS sufferers
Diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001
Became national speaker & trainer for The National Alliance on Mental Illness
Lost son, Michael, to peer abuse-driven suicide
Created nonprofit organization to combat peer abuse
Their stories of turning adversity
into advocacy will inspire you!
Browse through our collection of inspiring stories from our incredible advocates.
Aug 10, 2022 | Advocate, Paralysis
Mike & Janice Sugerman Adversity: Paralysis Advocacy: Sharing their stories to help other families "We didn’t choose advocacy. Advocacy chose us. We wrote a Facebook entry about Mike’s recent paralysis and got 500 responses about how brave we were to...
Dr. Zachary Burton
Mar 10, 2021 | Advocate, Bipolar Disorder
Dr. Zachary Burton Adversity: Diagnosed with bipolar I disorder with psychosis Advocacy: Co-founded and leads The Manic Monologues to disrupt stigma; serves with various mental health nonprofits "We lean on the brutally and beautifully unashamed, raw power...
Chrissie Hodges Adversity: Undiagnosed OCD Advocacy: Pure OCD Advocate "I started my advocacy to help others know they are not alone and recovery is possible for Pure OCD. Little did I know by hearing other's stories, struggles, and seeing their resiliency...
Aug 18, 2017 | Advocate, Life Challenge
Shira Strongin Adversity: Undiagnosed rare disease Advocacy: Health policy advocate and founder of an international community for young women with varying illnesses and disabilities "I learned early on if I wanted to be heard, I'd have to raise hell and no...
Aug 4, 2017 | Advocate, Diabetes
Christina Roth Adversity: Type 1 diabetes Advocacy: Founded the College Diabetes Network "I’m honored to be an advocate, along with so many inspiring individuals, and I’m passionate about empowering students and professionals living with Type 1...
Jun 20, 2017 | Advocate, Amputation
Patrick Filosa Adversity: Amputation Advocacy: Raises money for nonprofits that serve young amputees ...
Dr. Lamar Hardwick
May 29, 2017 | Advocate, Autism
Dr. Lamar Hardwick Adversity: Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (Asperger’s Syndrome) Advocacy: Mentor to those on the autism spectrum; autism educator for churches, schools and nonprofits "As a pastor, I often share that a great way to make a...
Feb 16, 2017 | Advocate, Cystic fibrosis
Daelyn James Adversity: Cystic fibrosis Advocacy: Inventor, supporter and speaker for chronically ill children "I feel like the most rewarding thing I can do is to help young kids battling CF realize that, in spite of CF, you can tell yourself, ‘I can do...
Oct 31, 2016 | Advocate, Alzheimers
Leeza Gibbons Adversity: Lost her mother and grandmother to Alzheimer's disease Advocacy: Has become a leading voice in the movement to create a world without Alzheimer's "I got drafted into serving on the front lines of Alzheimer's advocacy, but now I see...
Chrisfino Kenyatta Leal
Sep 14, 2016 | Advocate, Life Challenge
Chrisfino Kenyatta Leal Adversity: Incarcerated with a life sentence Advocacy: Leads and is active in a host of self-help programs for prisoners "As a formerly incarcerated individual and graduate of The Last Mile, I can tell you I didn't get to where I am...
Aug 14, 2016 | Advocate, Cancer
Ann Graham Adversity: Cancer diagnosis Advocacy: Founded a nonprofit to serve pediatric cancer patients "I used to think that everything happens for a reason, until I saw children dying of cancer. Cancer was my best teacher and ultimately, a saving grace. I...
Ethan Smith Adversity: OCD Advocacy: Shares his story as a keynote speaker. "I was told early in my treatment, 'The best thing you can do for your OCD is to help others.' Not only have I found that statement true but necessary. Every person I speak with,...