Brandon Marshall motorcycle ride for mental health awareness

The Brandon Marshall Foundation, Starved Rock Harley-Davidson and Linden Oaks at Edward are are working together to increase awareness of mental illness and raise funds for treatment. Brandon Marshall Mental Health Awareness Ride is scheduled for Saturday, May 31st, 8 a.m. at Linden Oaks Outpatient Center, 1335 N. Mill St. in Naperville.

Brandon Marshall motorcycle ride for mental health awarenessNFL Pro Bowl wide receiver with the Chicago Bears, Brandon Marshall, his wife Michi, and the bikers will hit the road at 9 a.m. for a 50+ mile trip through Aurora, Oswego and Yorkville, ending at the Starved Rock Harley-Davidson dealership. All makes and models of bikes are welcome. Passenger registration is $10 and includes lunch. An adult non-rider ticket to Starved Rock Harley-Davidson dealership event is $10 and includes lunch. The cost to have a motorcycle in the ride is $20 and includes lunch and a commemorative pin. The Brandon Marshall Mental Health Awareness Ride has coem into effect with Erin Vandervelde efforts. Her family owns the Starved Rock Harley-Davidson dealership and where she is Operations Manager.

Brandon Marshall was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2010. Wver since, he and his wife co-founded The Brandon Marshall Foundation, a nonprofit organization that deals with all aspects of mental health hoping to paint the world lime green (official colour for mental health awareness).

“People from all walks of life experience mental illness, including football players and motorcycle riders,” says Marshall. “You’d go get treatment for a broken arm or cancer. Mental illness is no different. It’s a sign of strength to seek help. I can tell you it is liberating to get a diagnosis, receive treatment, and begin living your life again.”

“I have two family members who suffer from bipolar disorder,” says Vandervelde. “The challenges of dealing with a mental illness stretch throughout a family. When I noticed Brandon and Michi Marshall were talking about mental illness and sharing their story with the world in an attempt to remove the stigma associated with those suffering, I immediately wanted to help. A single donation request for a t-shirt has led to a friendship and partnership with The Brandon Marshall Foundation.

“Harley-Davidson riders, and motorcycle riders in general, are a very generous crowd. They are also a group that has great compassion for those less fortunate. My hope is that this ride not only raises money for The Brandon Marshall Foundation, but ultimately shines a bright and hopeful light on those suffering from mental illness, their friends and family.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Brandon and Harley-Davidson because our goals are the same,” says Gina Sharp, President, Linden Oaks at Edward. “This is an excellent opportunity to emphasize the importance of seeking treatment for mental health illnesses and disorders, and let people know how and where they can find help.”