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Meet the Board: Gail Faulstich

Gail sitting at an event in a park.

Gail Faulstich is a remarkable woman whose journey has been woven with threads of compassion and self-determination. She has served on the NNCIL board of directors for more than a decade, supporting and advocating for people with disabilities.

With a background as a Marriage and Family Therapist, Gail’s life’s work has been dedicated to guiding people towards brighter tomorrows. However, a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis redirected her focus towards a cause close to her heart – empowering those with disabilities.

“I have MS, so I can personally see how important this organization is for people,” Gail shares. “In my time here, I’ve really seen how we can make a big difference for a lot of people.”

For Gail, independence isn’t just a concept; it’s a cornerstone of dignity and empowerment, both on personal and societal levels.

“Living independently is not just about doing things for yourself; it’s about the sense of empowerment that comes with it,” she says. “Unfortunately, our society lacks adequate support structures for people with disabilities, making self-sufficiency even more crucial.”

Despite the challenges posed by her illness, Gail remains undeterred, channeling her energy towards caring for her family and her community.

“The hardest part (of having a disability) is realizing what you can’t do,” she says. “You have to be willing to say that ‘today it’s just not happening.’ We just have to breathe deeply and support ourselves however we can. And that’s part of being independent.” 

Beyond her advocacy work, Gail finds joy in simple pleasures like reading, baking, cooking, and tending to her garden alongside Laura, her wife of 13 years. Last May, they hosted a large family reunion where they got to watch their six grandchildren get to know each other better.

As a proud Reno native, Gail is deeply committed to nurturing the spirit of Northern Nevada. “This valley holds a special place in my heart,” she says. “Its energy is truly magical.”

It’s a place made just a bit more magical through the dedication of Gail and others like her, who are committed to giving people with disabilities the resources they need to live independently. Working together, we can pave the way for a future where every person, regardless of ability, can thrive independently.

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