My son, Jereme, was a miracle baby from the very beginning! At just 6 mos. of age, he had an almost fatal reaction to the mandatory DPT shot, with a fever of 106 and a night at the emergency room. As the months went by, it became evident that he was delayed in his speech & motor development. He had not spoken his first word, or begun to walk at 13 months of age. He didn’t even say “Mama” like most babies could well before their first year.  His Pediatrician thought that he might be Autistic. I never lost my faith, continued praying & believing that he would be healthy & normal.  I had him in infant therapy and stimulation programs, he was tested & saw specialists at Emory, Egleston, & Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital.  It was while on a trip toWashington,D.C. that there was an amazing breakthrough.  We were visiting the National Zoo with friends, when he was about 20 months old.  That is when he spoke his first words… “Polar bear”, after seeing the big white bears swimming in their underwater tank! I guess that just got him so excited, that he finally repeated what he kept hearing me say!  After that magical day, he finally began walking, & adding more words & phrases. I was thrilled, and thankful that he was beginning to catch up, at last, with his basic childhood development. I give all the glory to God!

When Jereme started the first grade, problems began to surface regarding his ability to listen, learn, comprehend & keep up with the basics, & his classmates. He continued struggling throughout his school years, and we were told by the schools & doctors that he had learning disabilities and ADD.    I prefer calling them “Learning Differences”, since we aren’t cookie cutter people, and we all have different styles of learning.  I tried everything I could, from tutors to private schools.  

Then, in 2006 at the age 26, Jereme sadly became very ill; depressed & hearing strange voices, he attempted suicide. He was hospitalized for 9 months in a state Mental Hospital inRomeGA, with the diagnosis of Schizophrenia.  I had no idea where or who to turn to, for help! 

I began researching on my computer, and thank God I found NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  If I hadn’t had the resources, support & education provided by NAMI, I don’t know if Jereme would still be with us, today! I think many of us may know of a family member, friend, or someone that has depression, Bi-Polar, Autism, Aspergers, or other mental illness that desperately needs help!  They should not be living on the streets. MANY suffer in silence! As many of the hospitals continue to be shut down, adequate housing, food & medical attention is desperately needed. NAMI is a non-profit, charitable organization that runs only through your donations.  It takes money, awareness, and people working together to make positive changes in a broken system.

I would like to ask you to come and walk with me or to donate to support my participation in this great event; you can visit my personal walker page at:   It features a link to my team’s page where you can see who else is walking with me. There is a link so you can donate directly to NAMI online. Donating online is fast and secure, and I’ll get immediate notification via e-mail of your donation.

Each & every donation is important, & is appreciated!

 You can be a part of the solution, & make a positive difference in the lives of so many suffering with mental illness in Georgia, & the US.  

 *NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the largest education, support and advocacy organization that serves the needs of all those lives are touched by these illnesses.  This includes persons with mental illness, their families, friends, employers, and 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 my 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 AmericanInstitute ofPhilanthropy for efficient and effective use of charitable dollars.

Thank you in advance for your support. God Bless!