If you follow me on social media, you were likely to see this photo yesterday:
So why am I hanging off of the Hyatt Regency Orlando, 28 stories in the air? The answer: Shatterproof Challenge Rappelling Series. Every four minutes someone dies from addiction to alcohol or other drugs. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 20 million Americans age 12 or older use illegal drugs each month. In the U.S. alone, over 135,000 people die from alcohol or other drugs every year.
Shatterproof is a national organization committed to protecting our loved ones from addiction to illicit and prescription drugs, and alcohol. The Shatterproof Challenge Rappelling Series is a nationwide event to draw attention to the national epidemic of drug and alcohol addiction. We rappelled as a part of a national movement to honor our loved ones in recovery and remember those we have lost.
In 2012, Gary Mendell, a member of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, founded Shatterproof to educate, empower and equip families, educators, health care providers, legislators and others to proactively address addiction among children and young adults. Mendell and his team are building a national organization to bridge serious gaps in funding and resources for the disease of addiction. His son, Brian Mendell, lost his battle with addiction at the age of 25 in 2011.
While my blog may be called I Run For Wine, addiction is something that hits way too close to home and when I heard of Gary's organization, I wanted to help share the word. I have had too many loved ones affected by addiction. I was born and raised in Daytona Beach, FL and we have lost more classmates to drugs and alcohol. It has become a stigma of "Daytona Happened" when we hear of the loss of another friend. This is not ok.
Today I rappelled for three people. I want to share their stories, a few of the names I changed for their privacy.
For more information about the Shatterproof Challenge, including sponsors, please visit www.rappelorlando.org