I briefly mentioned when my Aunt Lesha died back in January; we were fresh off our trip for marathon weekend and it was unexpected so things got real crazy and I never really talked about how she died.
But I think it's an important issue to talk about so I'm going to share with you and tell you what I am doing to help others like her.
You see, my aunt had an addiction to narcotic pain medication. In my line of work I see this rather often, unfortunately, but there is a social stigma associated with addiction disorders and sadly, a lot of people don't seek treatment for it.
As a matter of fact, out of the about 23 million people affected by an addiction disorder, only about 3 million seek treatment. And my aunt was one of those people. And sadly, she's no longer with us because of that.
I learned yesterday about a movement called Heroes in Recovery. It was started by the Foundations Recovery Network with a mission of eliminating the social stigma associated with addiction and other mental health disorders so that those suffering in silence will seek help. The movement was created to inspire these people with the success stories of others so they can renew themselves in a sober, more active, healthier lifestyle. I wish my aunt had had access to this type of help; she would probably still be with us today.
Heroes in Recovery hosts 6Ks in multiple cities to help raise awareness for their cause and I am lucky that Memphis is one of those! The course starts and ends in beautiful Court Square and includes a run down Riverside Drive, one of the most beautiful views of the city!
Even though I have a 15K on my schedule for the following day (and a gymnastics birthday party for a certain almost 6 year old that afternoon...), I would not miss this event. This cause hits close to home for me. If by raising awareness for the movement I can help one person beat the stigma and seek help, then I know my aunt would be proud. If you are interested in joining me at the race, click here to register! Don't wait too long - prices increase on 11/1!