We Will Remember…

Dustin Baldaro - January 28, 1981 - March 16, 2017

Welcome to Dustin’s memorial NAMIWalks page.  Dustin was bright, funny, talented and caring.  He cared for others even when he had so little, he fed people, he shared his clothes and looked out for those around him.  Since Dustin was 8 he was diagnosed with ADD, later when he was 12 symptoms of depression and mania and Bipolar Illness was part of his diagnosis.
As Dustin grew older he had his ups and downs and many detours in the path of life and recovery.  He held many jobs, could always get a job working at the theater, at a fish store, selling phones in a mall. The longest working in a nursing home assisting the recreation department giving out his smiles and kindness to the elderly.  His favorite position however and where his true passion, was working as an electrician apprentice for our dear friend Wil.  He always loved wires, lights, plugs, tools and using his hands.
One of the symptoms for Dustin’s  bipolar illness was times of feeling “normal” and going off his medication and choosing to self-medicate with street drugs which led him down the path of addiction.  This now became the battle of staying on the path to recovery. 
Dustin had stretches with recovery and staying clean. In 2016, we had 8 glorious months of enjoying this time with him. Attending meetings, working the steps, being med compliant and going to a day program and living in a caring sober living community of guys. In October, Dustin relapsed and addiction, grief, depression, hospitalization and hopelessness consumed him.
We wanted to honor Welcome to Dustin’s NAMIWalks page. He was the one who handed us the NAMI Glendale brochure to attend a meeting coming out of therapy at Verdugo Mental Health, now Didi Hirsch.  It took us 6 years to find NAMI after the diagnosis at 12 years old. 
Dustin attended the NAMIWalks with us when he could over the last decade.  He knew the work NAMI does and that it was important to our family.   NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans impacted by mental illness.
Remembering Dustin and donating through his page is easy, fast and secure. Your donation will make a difference in the lives of the 43.8 million adults who experience mental illness in a given year.
Thank you for your support and remembering our son,
Love Dustin’s Family,
Wayne, Letty, Aaron, Danielle, Hudson, Grandma Char, Uncle Larry and Uncle Gayle

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