Mercy Medical Center held its second annual Pathway to Care, 5-K Run For Recovery at Ashley Reservoir on Sunday.
Carolyn Meuse, the complex care coordinator at Mercy, said the money raised from the 5-K will go to the Community Substance Abuse Education and Outreach program.
“We go out into the community and educate on Narcan and on the opioid epidemic, trying to connect people to treatment and services,” said Meuse.
Families and friends who lost loved ones to overdoses said they are running to raise money and awareness.
“Every year this is an emotional day for us, and we are just passionate about supporting the cause,” said Kristin Cressotti who lost her brother Justin to an overdose.
Organizers told 22News that the mile markers along the race path are in memory of people who have died from opioid overdoses.
“Nick was 30 years old. He was a beautiful person,” said Cheryl Boulyea, Nick’s mother. “He just struggled, and unfortunately, he lost his fight.”
Nick Pellegrini died in January from an overdose. His mother told 22News that the family is running to help others who might be suffering from an addiction.
“We want to raise awareness so the stigma goes away so people aren’t ashamed,” said Boulyea. “They shouldn’t be ashamed. It’s a disease.”