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Madison woman wins national award for public service after decades of advocating for mentally ill

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A Madison woman stood out among hundreds of volunteers from across the country Thursday, when she was given a national award for public service.

Nancy Abraham was honored with the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Service Benefitting Local Communities through the Jefferson Awards.

In 1977, Nancy was one of the founders of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Dane County, which eventually became the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

She started it as a way to connect with other families, after her son Dylan was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Nancy and Dylan spent decades traveling the world, advocating for quality mental health services.

NAMI now has nearly a thousand branches across the country, reaching millions of people through support programs, community education and shaping public policy on mental illness.

You can read more of Nancy's story here.

Amber Noggle

Anchor, 27 News at 5, 6 and 10

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