Addiction is a disease that affects the whole family. After a pair of teens lost their father to alcoholism, they wanted to do something to honor his memory. Harrison, Kaitlin, and Lauren lost their 48-year-old father on his birthday, July 9, 2019. And now they are on a quest to pay for addiction coaching for other families struggling with addiction
For the three teens, it took different experiences to understand their father was addicted to alcohol. For now 19-year-old Lauren, it was hard for her to understand that it was a disease until an intervention staged by her family when she was just fifteen.
“I think I thought when I was younger that he was choosing to drink over the family,” she told the Argus Leader. “Once he went through treatment for the first time, I realized it was a true problem that he wasn’t in control of.”
“Knowing how much he cared and would do anything for us, if he couldn’t stop, it was clearly very powerful over him,” said Kaitlin, 22. “The disease aspect comes into that. It’s more than personal choice.”
Their father struggled with alcohol over the years. Their mother, Heather, found solace through a support network that offered peer coaching call Face It Together, a Sioux Falls-based organization in 2017.
Helping Other Families
Even though Tim is gone, his memory burns bright for his children, who say he was “the best Dad” despite his addiction. They say he was so much more than his problems an,d they miss him terribly.
In honor of his memory, they have fundraised to help other families get the help they need. Treatment is expensive, and there aren’t a lot of resources available in South Dakota. And their mother had a good experience with peer mentoring at Face it Together.
Tim’s children have raised money on his birthday and on Father’s Day. Total, their fundraisers have raised enough almost $10,000; this should cover 37 people being able to participate in free Face It Together coaching sessions to people who need help with addiction.