My name is Spencer Brothers, and I recently celebrated 6 years in recovery from drugs and alcohol. Through relapses, hopelessness, homelessness, and the criminal justice system, I have come out the other side to find that the life that recovery has given me is beyond what I imagined was possible for me. I am eternally grateful for this gift. But even as I celebrate each passing year and new milestone in my life, I watch old friends that don’t make it.
One of those friends was my best friend, Chris Atwood, who died of a heroin overdose at age 21. Chris was a truly amazing person, and he and I were like brothers. His loss was shocking and tragic. Sadly, he’s far from the only one I’ve lost. I am sick of losing people to this disease. So, I decided to do something about it.
On March 11th of this year I started a crazy journey of remembrance, self-discovery, and hope. I embarked on an effort to hike the entire 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine, to honor the memory of Chris, and all the others we have lost, and to raise funds to prevent future overdoses. Funds raised through my journey will go to The Chris Atwood Foundation to provide naloxone, the medication that reverses opioid overdose, to people who need it.
As of writing this, I have walked almost a thousand miles through four states, weathering snowstorms, pounding rain, and heat. I’ve had a tree branch fall on my head, injured my leg and had mice try to steal my food. But nothing will stop me from continuing this journey of remembrance and hope, and I just ask that you partner with me to save more lives by making whatever contribution you are able: www.crowdrise.com/blazing-the-trail-to-recovery