BENEFITING: ATTACK ADDICTION FOUNDATION
EVENT DATE: Mar 05, 2016
My daughter, Ashley Vadala (Marshall) was a dynamic, beautiful, hilarious, loving young woman with a heart the size of Texas. She had a circle of friends she considered family. One of her friends once told me she was the glue that kept them all together. People gravitated toward her because she was so much fun to be around. She was full of positive energy, but she could also be so brutally honest with her friends that they often referred to her as 'Harsh Marsh'.
We lost Ashley December 16, 2008, when she was hit by a car as she crossed Kirkwood Highway. She was just 24 years old. She had been through detox and was leaving an outpatient rehab program the night of the accident.
There were opiates in her system, along with a trace amount of alcohol.
Recovery isn't easy. Sometimes it takes a few attempts. One of the reasons it takes so long for addicts to admit they have a problem and finally seek treatment is the shame they feel because of the horrible stigma that's attached to addiction.
atTAcK addiction is an organization founded by Jeanne and Don Keister, who lost their son Tyler Armstrong Keister to an accidental heroin overdose on December 23, 2012. Since Tyler's death, they have dedicated their lives to erasing the stigma of addiction through awareness campaigns, education, and lobbying.
In just under three years, atTAcK addiction has grown tremendously. They've opened chapters in Kent and Sussex Counties, and their lobbying efforts have resulted in passage of the Delaware Good Samaritan 911 Law that prevents drug users from being arrested if they contact 911 while someone is overdosing, and the expansion of and easy access to Naloxone, a life-saving miracle drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Naloxone training in Delaware's police departments and schools has already saved lives. Most recently, atTAcK addiction opened Transition House, a transitional home that gives women a safe, healthy environment as they transition to sober living.
The 3rd Annual atTacK addiction E-racing the Stigma 5K is scheduled to take place Saturday, March 5th, in Old New Castle. Last year's event had approximately 2,000 participants (unheard of for a 5K). This year's event is expected to draw closer to 3,500 participants.
There is no way to adequately describe the feeling of love and oneness at this event. It's so much more than just a 5K. It's a movement; a spiritual event.
PLEASE consider joining my Harsh Marshmallows 5K team. You can walk, run, or even just meander. Just come. If you can't make it, please consider making a donation to this worthy cause. Thank you!