I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but shortly after my son Tommy died on August 10, 2018, Shatterproof came into our lives. I am an elementary PE teacher and my mission right away was to educate our kids, our parents, and eventually our community on the dangers of opioids in particular.
We have a running club at our elementary school, and I suggested we go down as a team to take part in the Shatterproof Rise Up Against Addiction Walk here in Dallas. We very quickly formed Team Tommy to educate, bring awareness, and start the conversation with our 4th and 5th grade running club.
We honestly weren't sure what to expect, but entire families, educators, school board members, and many friends came to support Team Tommy that day!
Hearing Gary and other guest speakers moved us all! Most importantly, the kids were listening. They were listening so intently that they were inspired to do their year-long 5th grade project on substance use disorder, Tommy's story, and how together we can end the stigma! It was truly magical!
I knew I had found my place with Shatterproof. Team Tommy has now morphed into a way to educate and bring awareness, change the conversation, and end the stigma.
We are so looking forward to joining the Shatterproof Rise Up Against Addiction Walks in-person this fall! And we hope to see you all there. - Colleen Michaelis, Rise Up Against Addiction Team Captain, Team Tommy, Shatterproof Ambassador