Bethany Yeiser, President, CURESZ Foundation

“Schizophrenia Survivors” are people who are thriving despite a past diagnosis of schizophrenia, and live lives of meaning and purpose. They want to offer hope to others. Some of our Survivors have offered their contact information, and are available to answer your questions and offer you encouragement. If you have a question for one of the Survivors, contact us here.

Contact Bethany

Lauren lives with the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. She is a social worker, and creator of the YouTube channel “Living Well with Schizophrenia.”

Tyson McGuire is a student at the University of Cincinnati working toward a bachelor’s degree in physics and a joint master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Following his high school graduation, he won a full ride to attend UC starting in fall of 2016.

Michael has been in meaningful recovery from schizophrenia for three and a half years. He enjoys attending the College of the Ozarks where he studies social work as a full-time undergraduate. In 2019, Michael founded a “NAMI on Campus” support group for the Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City, and he continues to volunteer.

Origami folded by Joy
Origami folded by Joy

Joy Isabel holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and a master’s in teaching English, 2013. She spent two years teaching English in China. Today she works full time in a sales position, practices origami and enjoys running half marathons.

Carlos A. Larrauri M.S.N., A.R.N.P., F.N.P.-B.C. serves on the Board of Directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 23 years of age. Mr. Larrauri aspires to interface clinical practice, health policy and research, to reduce health inequities for people living with mental illness.

Contact Carlos
Portrait of Janelle
Portrait of Janelle

Liz Rapp is a mother of three and an entrepreneur who runs the nonprofit Project Daily Pages. Project Daily Pages helps those with mental illness live in recovery to the best of their ability by providing tools, materials, instruction, and support. Liz has been publicly sharing her story of recovery from schizoaffective disorder for five years.

Carson is a dual mathematics/computer systems engineering major at Arizona State University scheduled to graduate in spring of 2024. He also works as a tutor.

Emeka Chima holds an Associate of Arts degree from Montgomery College in Information Systems. He currently works as a Database and Campaign Intern for a health care and nutrition company, and is an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland Global Campus striving toward a Bachelor’s degree and a future job in the IT field.

Kirk Reitelbach has worked as a full-time paralegal for Disability Rights Ohio since 2012. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Dartmouth University.

Matt Racher holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Miami. He was recently awarded state certification as a Peer Specialist through the Florida Certification Board. Today, he travels to different communities with his band “Fog Dog,” spreading the message of hope through original music. Matt plans to pursue graduate study in social work.

Christina has worked for over 19 years as a professional librarian in an urban public library. Ten years ago, she found her niche to be career services, helping others land jobs that fit well with their skills and interests. Since 2005, Christina has been the “Bruni in the City” columnist for City Voices, a peer mental health newspaper.

Portrait of Lucas
Portrait of Lucas

Lucas Peluffo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a young adult, he experienced two psychiatric hospitalizations. Thanks to treatment with clozapine, he recovered 20 years ago and has had no relapse. Today he works translating English to Spanish, and is a secretary in a medical center.

Lesley is a Master’s degree student at Yorkville University in New Brunswick, Canada, studying Counseling Psychology. She studies full time and also works full time in an accounting firm in Halifax.

Contact Lesley

Leif Gregersen is a writer, speaker and mental health advocate. He teaches creative writing as a wellness skill to people who have psychiatric disabilities. He is also involved with the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta as a speaker, presenting his story of full recovery from schizophrenia to diverse audiences.

Ashley Smith is a non-fiction author, speaker, peer counselor, and mother. She courageously fights the stigma of mental illness with her name attached to her lived experience. She is celebrating a decade in recovery.

Contact Ashley

Brandon Staglin is director of marketing and communications for Staglin Family Vineyard, and serves as President of the Board of Directors of One Mind.

Portrait of Brandon Chuang
Portrait of Brandon Chuang

Brandon Chuang is an artist and filmmaker with a background in schizophrenia research. His earned his molecular, cellular and developmental biology degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Michelle Hammer is the founder of Schizophrenic.NYC, a clothing line that fights the stigma surrounding schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

Rebecca Chamaa graduated with a liberal arts degree from Evergreen State College in 1989. Originally from Washington state, she attended an American high school in Cairo, Egypt, where she met her future husband.

Contact via Facebook

The future looked bright for Bill, already living his dream. Five years later, Bill was living a nightmare, pacing a psychiatric ward, trapped in a world of illusions, delusions, paranoia and depression. Today, he is known as a “schizophrenia recovery expert.”

Darrell’s life didn’t grind to halt when he was diagnosed. The year after his hospitalization, he went back to college to study computer programming. He finished his degree two years later, and successfully worked as a computer programmer for the next eighteen years.

Robert Francis
Robert Francis

After Robert’s recovery from schizophrenia, he attended college full-time for two years and received his Master of Social Work degree in 2006. In 2009, he earned his LCSW. Today, he has worked as a mental health therapist for 15 years.

Max Guttman is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice in Ardsley, New York. Max’s battle with schizophrenia began at Binghamton University in his last semester of college.

Nina Dotson has eight years of experience working in behavioral therapy, and is certified in many different forms of behavioral intervention techniques. She holds a bachelor’s degree from DeSales University.

William suffered a severe paranoid psychotic break at nineteen years of age. Fighting the odds, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and went on to complete his Master’s of Library Science degree from Queens College in 1999.

Contact via Facebook

Sharon holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs (1999) and a master’s degree in City Planning (2002). Currently, she is employed by the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network. She finds fulfillment in her work helping others.

Robert Francis
Robert Francis

Ravi Sarin is 48 years old. Despite being diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 16, he has enjoyed 26 years of thriving life. Today, as a member of an ACT team, he helps people with mental illness find the treatment they need to rebuild their lives.

Susan Weiner experienced psychosis during graduate school derailing her career and plunging her world into chaos.  In recovery for over 20 years, she became a writer and has had two books of poetry published and has written articles and even a chapter for a book on mental illness.  You can see her work or contact her at

Contact Susan

Victoria Marie Alonso is married and the mother of three adult children. She developed schizophrenia as an adult. In her memoir, My Personal Recovery from Schizophrenia, she describes the onset of schizophrenia as receiving messages from God which she was unable to ignore.

Contact Victoria
Sandy Dimiterchik
Sandy Dimiterchik

Sandy Dimiterchik is a certified as a peer support specialist in the state of Louisiana and as a career coach by PARW/CC, which stands for Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. Today she serves as Director of Community Engagement for the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA).

Laurie views herself not as a psychiatric patient but first and foremost as a researcher who stands on equal footing with everyone else at her stage of the academic career.

Amber was young and successful, but she began a steady decline. At first, she showed symptoms of depression, which would quickly spin out of control, and into psychosis. Today, recovered for over eleven years, she works assisting special needs children.

CURESZ Survivors do not provide legal or medical advice, treatment or diagnosis.  They do not provide therapy or other counseling services.

If you would like more information about Schizophrenia Survivors, please contact Bethany Yeiser, at

Every personal story of recovery from schizophrenia is unique, and a needed contribution.

Disclaimer: Schizophrenia Survivors are not representatives of the CURESZ Foundation. The views of the Schizophrenia Survivors do not reflect the views of the CURESZ Foundation.