A Light to Brighten The Path


          NAMI Wasilla Vice President Carole Starace is a dedicated Mother

to her daughters Erica and Claudia Pletting.  She has been a long time Valley resident. Carole has invested a lot in her association as a member of NAMI.  At Life Quest she works with Douglas Moore to facilitate the Double Trouble group and address the issue of having a dual diagnosis.  No counselor, police or program staffers, the Double Trouble group is run and supported by mental health consumers, and held on Wednesdays at 2:00pm.  An inspiration to our group, she sets a fine example of spirituality.

          In the Early 70's Carole came to Chugiak devoted to raising her daughters in  Alaska. In 1979 they homesteaded in Wasilla. Erica has downs syndrom, and was pronounced to never talk, walk or be educable by some so called professionals. In 1974 at the University Hospital Medical Center in Tuscon Arizona a Dr. Anderson said "There is Hope".  I was with Carole this last weekend during Erica's triumph at the Special Olympics Swim Meet in Anchorage. What a Joy! The excitement of fullfilled expectations, after coming through bleeding, blood clots,surgery on Erica's leg, pneumonia, emergency care in ICU, and open heart surgery..In one year of 2000.

          A self-medicator, she did not realize, had no idea that there was help out there until she met up with Life Quest here in Wasilla. When her house burned down in October of 96, Life Quest was there to show Carole support in her time of need. It was time to Look inside for strength. Diagnosed with Bi-polar, BPD and PTS, she was determined to come out of it all on Top.

          "Mental Illness becomes more severe when kept inside, so let it out." Carole sees NAMI Wasilla's future as competitive with Life Quest.  As a sistership... to gain information, education and advocacy for clients and members. "I love this community. It is time to reach out. Pull the scab off,

but there is Nobody to help you heal?  Let a Doctor, Therapist, Medication, Spirituality and Support groups lead the way to healing yourself so your minds are no longer tormented."

          Our Vice President strives to reach out to others with mental illness and has spearheaded the NAMI Wasilla Community Awareness Campaign (CAC) to end the stigma  associated with brain disorders in the Mat-Su Valley.  If you are interested in recieving a CAC Packet for your group or organization please contact Carole at (907) 357-7109.


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