My brother Daren is a hero.

When Daren was 21 years old,  he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.  All his hobbies, hopes and dreams he had growing up slowly disappeared as he was faced with years of bouncing from different hospitals and programs.   My dreams have never and will never be lost for him.

Here is our story:

Daren is one out of three children.  He is six years older than me-  he taught me how to walk when he was seven,  make forts when he was fourteen,  build tree houses and how to have self- discipline and a strong will.   Daren has run many marathons,  climbed many mountains but the hardest journey of all has been finding his way through our U.S.  health care system  with a mental illness.

“It’s like I’ve been climbing Mt.  Everest.”

Daren is now 37 years old,  and has been living in a halfway house.  He has hardly any structure to his day and is yearning for more.  He is doing his best based on his circumstances but needs our help.

Daren and I lost our mother to pancreatic cancer in 2003, and seven years ago our father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  Through these ups and downs he has stayed strong,  supportive and generous to those around him.  He loves the outdoors and would thrive in a healing environment like Gould Farm.   My hope for him is to live on the farm for a year.

Here is a description of the program that would be helpful for Daren:

Founded in 1913, Gould Farm is the first residential community in the nation dedicated to helping adults with mental health challenges move toward recovery, health, and greater independence through community living, meaningful work, and clinical support. Within this safe, family-like community made up of guests, staff, families and volunteers, all members are accepted, respected and celebrated as individuals.

Hopeful and very determined little sister,