Olympic Gold Medalist Dorothy Hamill Wins Battle Over Depression; Will Share Her Story at Fundraiser

March 1st, 2008

The dazzling smile, the signature haircut, the staple spin. “America’s Sweetheart” Dorothy Hamill grew up on the ice working toward the dream she was able to accomplish by age nineteen – winning an Olympic gold medal in figure skating. But life was not the picture of perfection it appeared to be. Dorothy faced a painful inner struggle from the time she was a young girl that followed her into adulthood – though she would not know about the depression that ran in her family until much later in life. Weeks and months away from home to train and compete took a difficult toll, yet little reprieve could be found in the tumultuous and fragile relationship she had with her parents.

Dorothy went on to marry the man of her dreams, only to have the partnership end in heartache and a tragedy that almost pushed her to her breaking point. Then, just when a light at the end of the tunnel finally began to appear, a second failed marriage tried and tested Dorothy’s trust and strength yet again-a travesty that could have led her to give up. But, she found a remarkable strength in what she did have-her greatest love, her daughter Alexandra and skating.

She offers, “Thank goodness, I had my skating. There was certainly a pattern to my life. When times were tough, I went skating. It was only while I was out on the ice, enjoying the freedom of movement and my love of music, that I was able to escape from my bottomless heartache.”

Since winning the battle over depression and persevering on and off the ice – Dorothy Hamill has joined forces with organizations around the country like the David Lawrence Foundation, serving as a motivational speaker in order to bring awareness to the number one mental illness that affects millions of Americans each year. The Foundation is honored to announce that on May 2, 2008, Hamill will be in Naples to share her personal struggle with mental illness as the keynote speaker at their fundraising luncheon entitled, Skating on Thin Ice: Living with Depression. The money raised from the event will support the mental health and substance abuse treatment programs available at the David Lawrence Center.

Co-chairs for the event are Polly Keller, Vickie Nolen, Elizabeth Star and Robin Stranahan. Tickets for the luncheon are $250 per person and $1,000 per VIP guest. Hamill will join VIP guests and sponsors for an exclusive cocktail party held at a private residence on the evening of May 1, 2008. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available including the speaker sponsor which includes the opportunity to sit with Hamill at the luncheon. For more information about the event, please contact the David Lawrence Foundation at 239-354-1416.

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