HENRIETTA N.Y. – A fundraiser for mental health programs in Rochester is what Cam's Pizzeria new franchise owner, Brian Mueller, is doing.
As a child, he dealt with anxiety and was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
“A lot of people thought that I was just going to be an alcoholic pizza maker for the rest of my life,” he said.
That was not an option for Mueller — but the act of giving is.
Through tribulation of depression and medication that he said, somewhat, helped, Mueller found hope in NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“It’s important to me to support projects that are funded by donations that are important for the community and the mental health community,” he said.
Mueller spearheaded the fundraiser as a small token of his appreciation.
Kristina Mossgraber of NAMI Rochester Chapter said she found it humbling.
“I find it very moving, having to have been in that situation myself, I find a comradery that we can and that we have a voice and we can get better and we can give back,” said Mossgraber.
NAMI is considered the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization – dedicated to serving those in need.
For those dealing with mental health, Mossgraber explains that, “They’re not somebody’s choice – not something people do for attention or to make someone upset or all these things that have been missed that surrounded mental illness for so many years.”
Mueller says the goal is to raise $5,000, but that’s not all: he wants to match that, and plans to donate a total of $10,000 to the group he says helped him achieve another chance at life.
“You can turn your life around, and it’s not a death sentence if you bottom out,” said Mueller.