I am running the 2019 Boston marathon with Herren Project in support of my brother and all of those who are either experiencing addiction or love someone experiencing addiction. Herren Project recognizes that addiction is a family disease. Together, my family has experienced heartache, anger, and fear, but also strength, resiliency, and love.
The fear of losing my funny and caring brother to this disease is all consuming. Running has provided me a healthy outlet to manage this stress. Only while I am running am I truly able to separate my life and my goals from my brother’s addiction. Running the NYC half marathon last year with Herren Project was the first time I was able to publicly share my family’s story while also raising money for an incredible organization. By sharing stories and raising awareness, we can de-stigmatize this disease and begin to show more compassion and understanding to those suffering.
In addition to my brother, this epidemic has devastated my small hometown in Massachusetts. I have lost multiple friends and classmates to addiction and I fear that I will lose more. Overdose deaths are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, yet high quality treatment is not accessible to all. My wish is a world where people with substance use disorders are treated with compassion, kindness, and with empathy. Herren Project reminds me to never give up hope. Treatment and recovery are always possible – no matter how many times it might take.
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