Thank you ALL!!
August 10, 2017
Kevin Fox, 20, is fighting to stay sober after battling a 5-year heroin addiction. He and his mother, Karen, an avid cyclist and former college athlete, participated in Pedal4Life's HeroInMe Ride on Sunday May 21, 2017, in Naperville IL.
As a lifelong athlete, Karen loves riding her bicycle and was excited for the chance to do something fun with her son.
Pedal4Life uses bicycling events and programs to raise awareness and service both veterans and civilians in recovery from opioid use disorder and other drug addictions. “The hardest part of my recovery,” said Kevin, “is dealing with my emotions and blocking the cravings.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 21.6 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder (SUD). Nearly 1.2 million of them are veterans. More alarming, the U.S. has only 20% capacity to treat those who need help. One of the best ways to keep beds available for patients who need them is to help those already in recovery to avoid relapse.
Bicycling helps patients to repair damaged cells and build natural endorphins, significantly reducing the chance of relapse. A $229 donation buys a bicycle, helmet and water bottle cage for one person in recovery. That bicycle and helmet gives a patient transportation to support meetings, job interviews and jobs.
A $95 gift pays for a certified cycling instructor to keep patients engaged in physical activity as part of Pedal4Life's 6-week Pathway2Home program that includes structured bike rides.
After a 2nd week of riding, Cody, a patient at the Banyan Treatment Center in Naperville, IL said his treatment with Banyan was ending. "I really want to earn the bike," he pleaded. "I'm going to need transportation when I leave here. Even though I'm leaving Banyan can I still be in your progam? I have not felt this strong in a really long time. The riding makes me feel good. I want to keep riding." He didn't need to plead so strongly. This is what we want. This is Pedal4Life's goal. Plus, I got wrapped in a hug.
Dealing with an opioid addiction is extremely difficult, affecting both the individuals with the disease and their families. Kevin has lost 16 friends to opioid overdose. Like Cody, Kevin is working hard at choosing life. He says he enjoys biking with his mother and that he could see himself getting into it more as part of his recovery process.
Karen said she feels physical and emotional freedom when biking. “It’s my therapy….Biking allows me to get away from it all and gives me time to pray.” She then broke down in tears. “I’m crying from the pain of it all.”
Please choose to be a hero today. Support the millions like Kevin and Karen. Donate to Pedal4Life as part of Macy's Shop for a Cause Charity Challenge.