My name is Thad J. Eure. I am the son of Thad and Alice Eure, and I have been diagnosed with bipolar disease and schizo-affective disorder.

Forty years ago, I probably could not have even written my name down; but here I sit in a calm, clear-headed, rehabilitated state of mind, writing one of the most important letters I will ever write. Chronic mental illness literally swept away my adolescence and early adulthood. After I had gone through 10 years of hospitalizations in seven different mental institutions, back-to-back, my parents reached a state of helplessness, hopelessness, frustration and desperation. Out of this dark abyss came a fragile and delicate ray of light that would one day become the Foundation of Hope.

The Foundation was established on the premise (and the hope) that mental illness could be treated successfully. There was, and still is, a great need for an abundance of medical research aimed at bringing about much improved and more effective treatment and medications with fewer side effects for patients who suffer excruciatingly.

The millions of dollars the Foundation of Hope has granted the Department of Psychiatry at UNC-Chapel Hill to conduct mental illness research has helped thousands of patients. I am living proof of this. My psychiatrist of 11 years often refers to me as a “living miracle” – but this is no accident. Tremendous advances in medical science, particularly in the field of psychopharmacology, have made this possible. This is exactly what the Foundation of Hope promotes and funds.

It is the philosophy of the Eure Family that if we can help just one individual who suffers from chronic mental illness lead a better, more productive and meaningful life, then we have done something very special. Mental illness is physiological by nature, and is a serious problem, not only for patients and their families, but also for our society as a whole. We ask your consideration in helping us accomplish this goal. By giving to such a worthy cause, you might just get that special feeling.

(Pictured: Thad’s sisters, Shelley Belk, Executive Director of the Foundation of Hope, and Van Eure, Chairman of the Walk for Hope and owner of the Angus Barn)

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