Rugged Recovery Run
The beginning of 2020 has been a struggle for many of us. As we watched a pandemic overtake the world, the opioid epidemic got consumed by it. We are still losing family, friends and loved ones at an astounding rate due to the disease of addiction. Now more than ever, the extra assistance to help provide for those seeking recovery is a must.
With the recent rise in fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Western Mass., we find ourselves with a shortage of resources to provide for those in need, seeking a safe place to further their recovery. The mission of the Michael J. Dias Foundation is to aid and educate individuals and families on substance abuse and help those who are battling the disease of addiction.
Last year, we were able to raise over $5,700 for the Michael J. Dias Foundation and this year, we are looking to exceed that number and raise as much as possible. At the Foundation, we are still doing our part to provide a safe, structured sober environment for men seeking recovery.
At the time of our run last year, we had 22 men in our two houses. Even though the pandemic slowed us down by a couple of weeks, we managed to open Christian and Brian's House on May 4th, 2020. This house is currently open at half-capacity and when fully opened in the fall, will provide 23 additional beds.
With one of our major fundraiser in June on pause for the time being, now more than ever, we need the assistance of those in the recovery community, our families and friends, to help ensure a successful full opening of our third house this fall.
We appreciate all of you and hope you are all safe and well. Please join us on this journey to help those in need.
My name is Michael T. Brassard and I am a person in long-term recovery. What that means is that I have not had a drink, drug, or mind-altering substance since December 25th, 2010. A week prior to that date, I suffered what I know now as a non-fatal overdose while chasing my demons.
I was fortunate.
The opioid epidemic has ripped through our communities and society for decades and there are few it does not impact, directly or indirectly. Over the course of the last eight-and-a half years, I have attended over two dozen funerals in Western Massachusetts, for newly found friends and continuously read in the New Hampshire papers of friends losing their battle with addiction.
The cycle needs to be broken.
I have dedicated my journey to help those that are still actively suffering and in search of a way out. Eight years ago, I changed the course of my professional life gaining knowledge in different modalities of treatment. Two years ago, I took a position for a small non-profit, The Michael J. Dias Foundation, as the director of their sober home, Michael’s House. I was unaware of how this position would change my life and views over the course of the last two years. I worked tirelessly with a passionate and selfless Board of Directors to help improve the lives of Men seeking recovery. The Foundation has continued grow over the past two years. I currently manage the operations of Michael's House, Sean's Place (Opened 2019) and Christian and Brian's House (Opened Partially May 4th, 2020). The altruistic community that has formed within this entire community is incredible.
The Michael J. Dias foundation is a small non-profit, that relies on local fundraising initiatives for most of its operational costs (salaries, insurance) and capital expenses (House improvements, updates). The men that reside at the home pay a nominal fee to cover the overhead cost (Electric, gas, etc.) of the house. With the statistics rising, we do not have enough beds to provide for all those in need. The men that reside in the house and I decided we wanted to give back to the foundation again this year and have decided to run in a race at 11 am on September 26th, 2020 in Southwick Massachusetts. We will run this race in memory of a friend that resided in the house and the beginning of my employment with the Foundation and recently lost his fight with addiction.
Cody DaRosa was loved by all who had the pleasure of meeting his acquaintance. He was a free spirit that you would most likely see hanging from tree limbs working, as this was one of his favorite places to be. He would give the shirt off his back to help someone in need and loved the community here at the house. Cody resided at Michael’s house until late November 2018 and had left to pursue other avenues of recovery. Cody had contacted us about returning to Michael’s House in early February 2019 and unfortunately, on February 21st, 2019, he passed away in his family home from a fatal overdose.
We will introduce our runners weekly until the event: