National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI News Release For Immediate Release: February 5, 2002

Olympic Torch Run on February 7th Honors Families Affected by Mental Illness

NAMI Utah's Mary Freer is the only runner along the Olympic
torch's journey representing people affected by mental illness.
Like the movie A Beautiful Mind, she seeks to build public
awareness about hope, courage, and recovery.

CONTACTS: Anne-Marie Chace (NAMI National): 703-524-7600
Vicki Cottrell (NAMI Utah): 801-323-9900
Olympic Committee: 801-212-2002


Mary Freer of Park City, Utah, a retired nurse, married 35 years. Fifteen years ago, her oldest son, Todd, became mentally ill during college and eventually was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Through NAMI Utah, Mary has dedicated herself to public education about menal illness. Cheering her en route will be NAMI Utah members and consumers with mental illness from the State Hospital in Provo and Alliance House in Salt Lake City.


Mary will run the torch two-tenths of a mile as part of the official Olympic Torch Relay en route to the opening ceremonies in Salt Lake City on Friday. Throughout the country, NAMI members will pause to pray or cheer as she starts the run.


Thursday, February 7, 2002 beginning at 10:54am (Mountain Time).


In Midway, Utah, from the 2nd light pole after 1011 Charleston Road to the driveway at 1170 Charleston Road. For more information about the Midway route, call 435-654-9992. See also or A celebration is scheduled at noon in Park City. See or call 800-453-1360.


Mary is carrying the torch for her son Todd and every family that ever has carried pain from mental illness. Inspired by the impact of the movie A Beautiful Mind, she hopes to light a fire that will contribute to growing public awareness of the true nature of brain disorders and the elimination of stigma, prejudice, and discrimination.