My name is JD, and I have Mental Illnesses. I'm also fortunate enough to have Erased the Stigma around mental illness from myself. This is thanks to a mix of therapy, medication, and going to a developer event that changed my life.
The event was a talk by Ed Finkler (@funkatron on the interwebs) and it was a presentation on OSMI (Open Sourcing Mental Illness) and how he has dealt with mental illness throughout his life. Several months went by and I noticed that there was not a lot of talk going on about this subject, so I reached out to Ed and asked if he would mind if I started pitching a talk about MY story and how I've dealt with mental illness and the stigma associated with it. He told me that if I wanted to, I could give his talk verbatim. All that mattered was opening the conversation.
Since then I have given my talk, Erasing the Stigma: Mental Illness in Tech several times, around the country, at various tech conferences from Philadelphia to Orlando to Chicago to Des Moines. While my job has been more than generous with time off to give these talks, they can't always provide funding to assist with my expenses.
OSMI has helped where they can, but with so many other needs and expenses, there's only so much money to go around.
That's why I'm coming to GoFundMe. I'm hoping that some of you out there may be willing to help sponsor me to travel and give my talk Erasing the Stigma: Mental Illness in Tech. I have set a goal of $5000, but everything helps. From air fare to mileage and wear and tear on my car, to food and drink, to lodging, to Lyft and Uber, and everything in between, these expenses add up.
While I do feel that it's an important topic and that it needs to be discussed, these expenses are making it very difficult to continue. Over the past year, I've spent and estimated $4700 in expenses traveling to give my talk outside of what I've received from OSMI, so I'm asking for your help to continue to pitch my talk and start the conversation on this very, very important topic.
Donations to this GoFundMe will assist with room and board, travel, and incidentals.
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