2017-18 ANNUAL FUND
Breakthrough research is one life-saving discovery away.
Every researcher hopes their next big idea will turn into the next research breakthrough. But without financial support, even the most revolutionary ideas will inevitably die. Often, it doesn’t take much to get a research project off the ground—a relatively small initial investment can, with subsequent funding, bloom into something extraordinary.
It’s called a seed grant. It’s how we fund the research and treatment of mental illness—and it’s also how Hope Grows.
For this year’s annual fund, let’s discover what we can do together.
Our goal: $50,000
100% of your donation will support mental health research at the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Psychiatry.
Here’s the story of how two women—a mother and a scientist—were united in their fight against mental illness, and how revolutionary treatment grows from an idea, to seed funding, to a life saved.
Meet Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody.
One seed grant funded the work of Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody of the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders, who found herself wondering: what if we could leverage the power of technology to better understand postpartum depression (PPD) and change the trajectory of moms and their babies? After all: one in eight women are affected by PPD. A breakthrough could improve the lives of millions of women—and their families.
Armed with a seed grant from the Foundation, Dr. Meltzer-Brody, with partner Dr. Patrick Sullivan and their team, developed an app that establishes the presence or absence of lifetime PPD. Participants submit a saliva sample for genetic assays and storage for future use. “We’re pooling DNA samples to do large-scale research and hoping to find a genetic signature,” explains Dr. Meltzer-Brody. “This will allow us to develop preventative strategies and targeted treatments that could dramatically decrease suffering for women and their families.”
Her initial grant from the Foundation was $99,000. Now, thanks to subsequent funding from the NIH and a bevy of international organizations, Dr. Meltzer-Brody’s app has gained an additional $1 million in funding—and over 15,000 participants to date.
Meet Amanda. One life saved.
Amanda and Chris struggled for six years to get pregnant. They were elated when they found out they were expecting a little boy—but less than two weeks after baby Bryce was born, things started to fall apart. Amanda was losing weight rapidly, couldn’t sleep and had waves of panic all day. Her doctor prescribed anti-depressants and dismissed her symptoms as normal PPD—but very soon, her symptoms progressed to dangerous, intrusive thoughts. Unable to leave the house, Amanda was convinced she’d never survive in society again.
Then she was referred to the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders—which was founded, in part, with a grant from the Foundation of Hope—where she found a peer group and was admitted (cost-free) into a trial outpatient program. From the minute she arrived, Amanda started learning about her illness and was surrounded by a medical community who actually understood the complexity of her condition. With a clear treatment plan and support from Dr. Metzler-Brody and her team, Amanda’s fog began to lift.
Thousands of lives saved.
To this day, Amanda credits the treatment she received for saving her marriage and, ultimately, her life. She aspires to be a full-time advocate for women facing severe PPD to help provide the same life-saving support she received.
Stories like these are why we do this work—but we can’t do it without you. We hope you’ll join us this year as we strive to raise $50,000 to fund more work like Dr. Meltzer-Brody’s—and grow hope for more women like Amanda. 100% of your contribution will support mental health research at the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Psychiatry.