Back in early 2015, Tracy and I took the plunge and signed up for our first every marathon in our hometown of Baltimore. I was about to turn 40, we were searching for a new running goal and needed a total distraction from life. Running did just that for us. You see during this time, Matt - my husband and Tracy’s brother, was in the throes of addiction. He was struggling with his aftereffects of an accident where he sustained a traumatic brain injury, struggling with multiple attempts at recovery and struggling with life itself. And Tracy and I had no real idea how to help him. Running became our outlet and our therapy - we ran, we talked, we cried, we planned, sometimes we screamed.
Being an athlete himself (as well as a huge basketball fan), Matt always had an interest in Chris Herren. He said numerous times that “I need to hear him speak. I relate to him and his struggles. I need to hear his message.” We tried to get him to one of his events but were unsuccessful in our attempts. While trying to learn more about The Herren Project, I saw on their website that they had a running program and it seemed too good to be true. Maybe this was a way to help Matt! Right away I reached out and was connected with Pam the HP race director. We spoke well into the evening as I told her all about Matt and how we were training for our first marathon and how we wanted to start a relationship with the Herren Project. Ironically enough, this was the evening before Matt passed. I didn’t know this then, but that Herren Project connection was there right from the beginning.
After his passing, it only made sense that we would run in memory of Matt for the Herren Project. We continued our training with a new meaning and purpose. We ran, we shared our story, we raised money and awareness and we completed that marathon in October just two months after losing Matt, holding hands with tears in our eyes.
Since that first marathon, the Herren Project has been like a family to us. We have made a point to stay connected and to make it our purpose to help be a part of the solution to break stigmas associated with mental health and addiction. As we come up on 5 years with our Herren Project family, it makes perfect sense that we do something big and together… So just as we crossed that Baltimore Marathon finish line holding hands in 2015, we will do it again but this time in BOSTON! We couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity nor more grateful to continue to share our story and message of hope for a life in recovery. Thank you for your support!
Herren Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation established in 2011 by former NBA basketball player Chris Herren. Together we recover...as we support, inspire & empower those affected by substance use disorder. www,herrenproject.org