Event helps so many

Published 10:22 pm Monday, October 21, 2019

The Driver Days StrongWILL Charity Fun Run and Walk gets bigger and raises more money every year for the fight against addiction but, like everyone, we look forward to the day this event simply celebrates no more addiction.

April Brooks founded StrongWILL with her husband, Nathan Brooks, after she found her brother, William “Doug” West dead of an opioid overdose in April 2016. Ever since then, the organization has been dedicated to helping those who are fighting addiction, and their family, friends and others who are fighting alongside them, in an effort to help them overcome this terrible disease.

This year’s event, held on a cool Saturday morning, featured 16 teams and 228 people registered to participate. The event raised a record-breaking $11,000 to sponsor year-long stays for those seeking recovery at the Youth Challenge of Hampton Roads addiction treatment center in Newport News. Previously, the organization has donated more than $13,000 to local organizations that work with local residents suffering from addiction and has donated care packages for caretakers and families of babies born with addiction.

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The Brooks family has made a lot of good come out of their pain, and they are now being joined by many other families and groups of friends who, unfortunately, have suffered the same thing.

“It’s a tough thing,” Len Lilley, who lost a son to addiction, said at Saturday’s event. “Addiction’s a bad thing, no matter what it is, whether it’s alcohol, drugs or whatever. It means a lot to come out and support them, because a lot of people out here are addicts that people don’t even realize, and you want to support them and help them through what they’re going through.”

We mourn with those who mourn and hope for healing and a future with no more addiction.