Aldridge Golding is carrying on the work of her father, Green
Bay Packers legend Lionel Aldridge, on behalf of the mentally
ill and their families.
Michelle Aldridge Golding has a passion
for helping families cope with mental illness. The Shorewood resident
knows firsthand about the experience. She is one of two daughters of
the late Green Bay Packers great Lionel Aldridge who suffered from
schizophrenia. Golding is in the process of establishing Lionelís
House, a resource center for loved ones and friends. She is the
"Weíre looking to define who we
can help and concentrate on certain types of mental illness,"
Golding says. "We want to help family and friends because they
are the ones who try to keep patients on medications and they are the
ones most affected."
She is seeking a location that is close
to a medical facility. Once established, Lionelís House will include
a resource library and regular presentations by medical experts and
others who will lecture on various aspects of mental illness.
Information also will be directed to physicians, police and others who
deal with the mentally ill.
Lionelís House was created from
family discussion between Golding and her sister, Angela, in 2000,
shortly after their father died. They dreamed it would be an extension
of Lionelís work as a spokesman on behalf of the mentally ill, a
role he had enthusiastically played after years of losing everything,
being homeless and finally successfully going through therapy and
"He was invited to speak at
college campuses and to patients and doctors," Golding notes.
"He wanted to tell his story about where mental illness was
going, about what to look for in those who suffer and the new
medications. He was a motivational speaker, telling people itís not
the end of your life. Like any other disease, you have to deal with it
and take care of it. Iím very proud of him that way. He took a very
bad thing and turned it into a way of helping others."
In turn, Golding is taking her
childhood filled with the confusion and uncertainty of living with a
parent suffering from mental illness and turning it into a positive.
After it was associated with another advocacy group and holding
several run/walk fund-raisers, Lionelís House is establishing its
new identity. The organizationís board includes former Packers
Willie Davis, Bob Jeter and Bob Long ó all teammates of Lionel
Aldridge ó as well as other community leaders.
"This is really what I want to
do," Golding says. "I love my dad and I want his work to
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