"I have seen those I love struggle very much to reach sobriety, and I have been there firsthand for the successes of long-term recovery, and the complete devastation that came with losing my brother to an overdose"
(Left to Right) Katie with Alex, and mother Anne, Katie and Alex
Katie Hanson was best friends with her brother, Alex Grizzel (Above Left) from the day he was born. Though more than 3 years apart, they had a deeply devoted bond, forged through unconditional love. When Katie got married in June 2017, her brother stood for her as her "Man of Honor."
Alex struggled with addiction for more than six years, and while Katie herself didn't struggle with the disease, it shaped her life.
Katie's efforts to support recovery are echoed in the work that she does to support her mother's mission of educating youth across the region about the dangers of drugs and addiction and making sure that no other families experience the grief and heartbreak that the Grizzel's faced when Alex lost his life to addiction.
Her goal moving forward is to work on removing the stigma that surrounds addiction and open the lines of communication, both with those who are struggling and with the community as a whole. Her wish is to normalize this discussion so that people won' t feel ostracized and will be more likely to reach out for help.