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We Fight Together Walk Run for Illicit Drug Poisoning and Overdose Awareness

In the heart of Wicker Park, a community united in grief and determination gathered for a solemn yet powerful event — the We Fight Together Walk Run for Illicit Drug Poisoning and Overdose Awareness. Led by Patty Stovall, founder and Executive Director of Sounds of Sarah, the gathering served as a poignant tribute to those lost to the relentless grip of addiction and illicit drug poisoning.

For Stovall, the pain of losing her daughter Sarah remains a haunting reality, even two and a half years later. "The grief of losing a child is horrifying," she shared, her voice resonating with a mixture of anguish and resilience. "The fact that we’re not alone doesn’t make it easier, but it makes it less lonely. And this helps show we are not alone." We want to be heard, we will be heard, Stovall stated. It kills 22 teens age 14 to 18 each week. It is still the number killer for ages 18 to 45, equivalent to 300 people each day. Which is like a plan crashing every single day.

In attendance was U.S. Representative Frank Mrvan, D-Highland, who shared his own personal experiences with addiction and overdose. "So, we stand at a critical juncture in the fight against the opioid epidemic," Mrvan remarked. "And behind every statistic, lies a heartbreaking story of a life lost."

But amidst the somber reflections and shared sorrows, there is a glimmer of hope — a collective resolve to turn tragedy into inspiration, and inspiration into action. "What draws us towards, or motivates us sometimes in these cases, is being able to turn that loss into inspiration. And that inspiration into hope," Mrvan articulated.

Indeed, hope was palpable amidst the sea of faces at Wicker Park, where around 400 individuals came together to honor the memory of loved ones lost and to reaffirm their commitment to breaking the stigma surrounding addiction and illicit drug poisoning. Each attendee bore witness to the profound impact of these issues, with many sharing their own stories of grief and struggle

As Patty Stovall gazed upon the banners adorned with the faces and stories of those lost, she offered a poignant reminder that behind every loss is a story — a life that was more than just a number. "Sarah was more than just a statistic. I know these kids, I know their stories," Stovall reflected.

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