Marissa Lopes

Marissa Lopes's Fundraiser

Let's help people BEFORE they pick up drugs image

Let's help people BEFORE they pick up drugs

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$2,150 towards $2,000

I'm once again honored and humbled to be chosen to run/represent the Herren Project in the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon on 3/19/23. I started my journey of raising awareness for substance abuse disorder because of my childhood. I shared my story and my passion to keep families together. Today a new story sparks my anger, my sadness and my desperate plea for people to show compassion and understanding of a disease that plagues thousands and to tell the world that the stigma attached to addiction is not true. On September 22, 2022 I lost my nephew Jeremy to an accidental drug overdose. My family's heart died that day. Jeremy's addiction was a mental illness and he could not choose a sober path. He suffered on a daily basis for many years with his demons. He loved his family and his children with all his heart. He had a beautiful soul. He would put a smile on any kid's face that was in the same room as him. He had an infectious laugh and a heart as big as the ocean, but his body and his mind outweighed his heart every time he picked up a drug. He tried harder than anyone I know to get help and stay sober. He didn't want to live the life he was living. He wanted more than anything to be happy and healthy. His story will be known, our story will be heard, and there will be a change in the hearts who those who will listen. The stigma of the stereotype is that addicts are deviants, don’t engage in society and are without love and kindness in their lives and live without morals. This could not be further from the truth. Opioid overdose is now the leading cause of PREVENTABLE death in the United States. I hope you consider empathizing with the countless number of people who are plagued with addiction, to look in their eyes and know that addiction is a disease, not a choice, and to lend a hand rather than push them further down the rabbit hole. It just might help save one life from being ended and another family from experiencing the despair mine has.

I'm going to run this race for my nephew Jeremy and my sister Mary McBay Correia. We lost an amazing person and it's unfair. I hope this helps one life one life from being ended and another family from experiencing the despair mine has.