[Note from Frolic: Today, we welcome Denise from Shh Mom’s Reading to the site. She’s sharing her fundraiser for the Keith Milano Memorial Fund and the story behind it.]
On September 5, 2004 a single event forever changed me, forever changed my family, forever changed the course of my life. On that day I lost my younger brother and only sibling Keith Milano to suicide. Though suicide is a word often whispered, we chose to be open about Keith’s struggle with bipolar disorder.
In 2013 that openness lead to a NY Times bestselling author offering to donation her May book sales from her new novella to the Keith Milano Memorial Fund at The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for mental health awareness month. Out of this beautiful gesture the May Mental Health Awareness Book Fundraiser was born.
This May for the 8th year an amazing group of authors are donation a portion of their book sales to the fund.
The event has thirty authors and over 75 books included; purchasing these books in any format helps the cause!
A few of these these authors few have shared the Why they are taking part in the event.
NY Times Bestseller Author Sawyer Bennett:
“I know so many people who have been adversely impacted by mental health issues, whether it’s their own or that of someone close to them. Mental health should be a frequent and ongoing discussion about what we can do to support ourselves, and how we can continue to lift those who need it. That’s why it’s important to support and bring attention to organizations like the Keith Milano Fund, and events such as the annual book fundraiser.”
New York Times Bestseller Melanie Moreland:
“The Keith Milano Fund is a cause near and dear to my heart. Its goal is to shed light on the darkness that still surrounds mental health and it is an honor to be associated with it. The work they do is vital, and the people involved are warriors of this cause. I am proud to be a very small part of the fight.”
USA Today Bestseller Author Natasha Madison:
“It’s a great honour to be partake in a cause such as this. So many lives lost because no one is there to listen. Mental health issues affect us all some more than others, we should all help play a role in providing a safe haven.”
USA Today Bestselling Author Sarina Bowen:
“I’m participating because mental health is underserved in our country. Most Americans have poor access to mental heath services, and I fear for those who need them. This is a small way I can pitch in.”
This money will be used to create programs to raise awareness about mental illness and to fund much needed research.
Through sharing Keith’s story, our family has been blessed to meet so many amazing people; people who have connected with Keith’s story, connected with his smile, connected with our mission to keep his spirit alive as we work to change the dialogue about mental illness.
I sit in awe of the legacy Keith’s name has created and of those who donate their time, energy and money to raise awareness about mental illness.
We hope this event and being open about Keith’s story advances the dialogue about mental illness.