“I feel so blessed to be alive because, after the life I led when I was younger, there were a lot of times when I shouldn't have made it,” she says. “I have so much good in my life now and this is a way I can give back to the people who haven’t found a way to be free of their addiction.”
The Herren Project provides free treatment placement services, scholarships for treatment programs, online support groups and recovery housing for those seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), 21 million Americans suffer from addiction.
So far, Colombo has raised $5,000 for the organization.
“I saw other runners raising money for various causes and I knew I wanted to do that, but I hadn't found a cause that resonated with me,” she says. “I met another runner and former addict who was raising money for the Herren Project. I realized in talking to him that this was the project I wanted to be involved in.”
At first, Columbo was nervous about the prospect of sharing her journey on social media. But she felt it was necessary to raise awareness about addiction as well as the funds needed to reach her goal.
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