Shatterproof’s “Rise Up Against Addiction 5K Walk/Run” event brought families, friends, and neighbors together in Boston to shed light on the stigma, suffer

[Boston – September 25, 2018] - Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation the disease of addiction causes families, continued its national “Rise Up Against Addiction” event series in Boston on September 23 at Franklin Park.


This 2nd annual unique event united close to 1,800 people from all over Boston and surrounding communities to bring the disease of addiction into the light and help transform treatment in America. Participants honored lost loved ones, celebrated recovery journeys, connected with families affected by addiction, and shared stories of hope.


“It is inspiring to see the Boston community rally together and foster a sense of strength and support,” said Shatterproof founder and CEO, Gary Mendell. “It is time to end the stigma around this disease.”


Highlights included a Shatterproof Community Village, which showcased substance use disorder resources from over 20 local organizations; a Memorial Gallery, which featured photos and stories of lost loved ones; and the Celebrate Recovery Area, a space where hundreds of people in recovery celebrated and shared their recovery milestones. 


Speakers included Shatterproof Ambassador Heather MacLean, who climbed the stage with her dog and candidly talked about how she found her way to sobriety through an open and honest discussion with her loved ones.


“We cannot fight substance use disorder alone. And we cannot do it in silence,” Heather told the crowd. “I discovered something truly beautiful in my recovery, and it’s the support among my friends and family.”


Other speakers included: Mark Butler, Market President of Cigna; Michael Botticelli, Executive Director of the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at Boston Medical Center; Brendan Little, Policy Director at Mayor's Office of Recovery Services, City of Boston; Dr. Darshak Sanghavi, Chief Medical Officer and SVP of Translation at OptumLabs; and Gary Mendell. Dr. Mallika Marshall, Health Reporter at WBZ-TV Boston, served as the emcee of the event.


National Sponsors included: Alkermes and Pacira – Plan Against Pain (Visionary sponsors); Cigna, Indivior, and United Health Group (Signature sponsors); Choice Hotels, Chubb, Dave & Buster’s, JP Morgan Chase, Kaleo, Lockton, Adapt Pharma – Narcan Nasal Spray, Vineyard Vines, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (Supporting sponsors).


Local sponsors included: Cigna and Goodwin (Platinum); Boston Medical Center (BMC HealthNet Plan) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health/Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (Silver); Association for Behavioral Healthcare and Delta Dental of Massachusetts (Bronze); Massachusetts Elks Association and Power Forward/Kevin Stevens Crosscheck Substance Abuse Radio (Copper); CBS (Media); and Stop & Shop (In-kind).


The Boston community raised more than $334,000 for the Rise Up Against Addiction 5K Walk/Run event, which will support Shatterproof’s work to transform the nation’s broken addiction treatment system and ensure that every American with a substance use disorder has access to treatment that’s based on proven research.


Upcoming 2018 Shatterproof Rise Up Against Addiction 5K Walk/Run Events:



Saturday, October 6, 2018

Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Drive

Chicago, IL


New York

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Pier 84 - Hudson River Park, 555 12th Ave

New York, NY


National Capital Area

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Reston Town Center, 1825 Discovery St.

Reston, VA



Saturday, November 3, 2018

Piedmont Park at The Meadow

Atlanta, GA


Orange County

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Irvine Spectrum

300 Spectrum Center Drive

Irvine, CA



Saturday, November 17, 2018

Continental Bridge Gateway Plaza

Dallas, TX


For more information or to register for one of Shatterproof’s Rise Up Against Addiction events, click here.


About Shatterproof:

Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation the disease of addiction causes families. Shatterproof is focused on one specific, urgent goal: To transform America’s broken addiction treatment system. The organization is working to ensure that every American with a substance use disorder has access to treatment that’s based on proven research. Shatterproof advocates for changes to federal and state policy, payer reform, and provider ratings, and provides public education through family and workplace programs.



About Gary Mendell:

Gary Mendell is the Founder and CEO of Shatterproof. He founded Shatterproof to spare others the tragedy his family suffered with the loss of his son Brian to addiction in 2011. Mr. Mendell is an experienced businessman and CEO who founded HEI Hotels & Resorts and is the former president of Starwood Lodging Trust.



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